Thursday, August 8, 2013

Twisted Magnetic Fields Tie Information in a Knot: Scientific American

Twisted Magnetic Fields Tie Information in a Knot: Scientific American: Writing in Science, von Bergmann and her collaborators describe how they created skyrmions on a thin magnetic film of palladium and iron on an iridium crystal. They began with a sample in which all the atomic bar magnets were aligned. The team then used the tip of a scanning tunnelling microscope to apply a small current made up of electrons that had their spins aligned, or polarized, in a particular way. The polarized current interacted with the atomic bar magnets to twist them into knot-like configurations of skyrmions, each a few nanometers, or about 300 atoms, in diameter, says von Bergmann. The scientists could also use the polarized current to erase the knot, deleting the skyrmion...

...this is the first time that scientists have created and deleted individual magnetic skyrmions...

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