Researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden have published a study of a new material that could increasethe speed and efficiency of data storage in electronic devices, including computers and smartphones.
The material, a ferromagnetic alloy of cobalt and iron, reduces magnetic damping, which is caused by a magnetic field moving through a conductor and contributes to energy loss. In essence, the researchers said, the damping is like friction. The speed and efficiency with which the data can be stored is decreased in a magnetic material in the same way that friction reduces speed.
Current technology includes magnetic storage devices that can perform 100 petabyte data transfers in mere nanoseconds, which is appropriate for today’s devices. Future devices will require even more efficient data transfer, though. That’s where the iron-cobalt alloy comes in.
The ferromagnetic alloy described in the Uppsala University’s team’s research has a unique internal structure which prevents damping from increasing. The researchers stated that any damping in the material is directly “proportional to the number of electronic states at the highest occupied energy level.”
The alloy may also be particularly useful to the industry because of its accessibility – iron and cobalt are both relatively common elements. The material could eventually be used as a standardized material to which other alloys could be compared. The iron-cobalt alloy is also magnetic at room temperature, and is easy to produce, the researchers said.
The study was published in the journal Nature Physics on May 16.
About 70 percent of today’s data is stored using magnetic materials, the researchers said
Filed Under: Materials • advanced