Chiral Domains in Cycloidal Multiferroic Thin Films: Switching and Memory Effects

 

I. Fina, L. Fàbrega, X. Martí, F. Sánchez, and J. Fontcuberta

Phys. Rev. Lett. » Volume 107 » Issue 25

URL: http://link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.257601


Memories: beyond “up and down”
Turn right or Turn left: that makes the difference

Memories in present computers are based on “ones” and “zeros” defined by the distinct orientation of the magnetization of magnetic particles (bits). That means that the orientation (“up” or “down”) of the magnetization is used to define the value of the memory state (1 or 0). However, information could be encoded in other ways. We have now discovered (I. Fina et al, Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 257601 (2011)) that some multiferroic materials and thin films, displaying null magnetization, can encode information by using the sense of rotation of atomic spins across the lattice: “turning clockwise” or “anticlockwise” would correspond to “zero” or “one”. These findings show that an antiferromagnetic material, contrary to some common beliefs, can be used to store magnetic information. The information can be written electrically, rather than using magnetic fields as in nowadays magnetic memories. This holds promises future memories with low energy consumption.

 

Chiral domains in cycloidal multiferroic thin films: switching and memory effects
I. Fina, L. Fàbrega, X. Martí, F. Sánchez, and J. Fontcuberta
Phys Rev Lett. 107, 257601 (2011)