Today’s Solutions: March 29, 2023

As populations and the number of electronic devices increase, there is an ever growing demand for video and cloud data storage. At our ongoing rate, the current technology available will eventually run out of funds and space. Although, a research group from Ohio State might just have the solution to this in the form of next-generation data storage.

Their study, published in Science, recruits manganese germanide as a storage solution. The reason it is able to exponentially increase the amount of data able to be stored is due to the shape of patterns the film produces.

Unusual magnetic patterns

The most common and long-lasting form of data depository uses magnetic storage technology. Normally, magnetic storage bits are made of iron magnets, which form magnetic patterns which the data runs between. Here, the material creates motifs in a helix structure, similar to that of DNA, which are around 50 nanometres wide.

However, using manganese germanide results in more complex arrays of patterns called hedgehogs, anti-hedgehogs, merons, and skyrmions. The body of the hedgehog pattern is around 10 nanometres wide, much smaller than the helical structure, meaning it has a much higher potential to carry data.

“These new magnetic patterns could be used for next-generation data storage,” said Jay Gupta, senior author of the paper. “The density of storage in hard disks is approaching its limits, related to how small you can make the magnetic bits that allow for that storage. And that’s motivated us to look for new materials, where we might be able to make the magnetic bits much smaller.”

More energy efficient

The researchers also discovered the potential of the hedgehog magnetic pattern to be manipulated in different ways, leading to a number of potentials in not only storing data, but also reading, writing, and manipulating it with less energy cost. “There is enormous potential for these magnetic patterns to allow data storage to be more energy efficient,” Gupta stated.

Source study: ScienceAtomic-scale visualization of topological spin textures in the chiral magnet MnGe

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