Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Magnetic moment


Spin-transfer torques offer great promise for the development of spin-based devices. The effects of spin-transfer torques are typically analysed in terms of adiabatic and non-adiabatic contributions. Currently, a comprehensive interpretation of the non-adiabatic term remains elusive, with suggestions that it may arise from universal effects related to dissipation processes in spin dynamics, while other studies indicate a strong influence from the symmetry of magnetization gradients. Here we show that enhanced magnetic imaging under dynamic excitation can be used to differentiate between non-adiabatic spin-torque and extraneous influences. We combine Lorentz microscopy with gigahertz excitations to map the orbit of a magnetic vortex core with <5 nm resolution. Imaging of the gyrotropic motion reveals subtle changes in the ellipticity, amplitude and tilt of the orbit as the vortex is driven through resonance, providing a robust method to determine the non-adiabatic spin torque parameter β=0.15±0.02 with unprecedented precision, independent of external effects.

Concepts: Magnetic field, Angular momentum, Fundamental physics concepts, Torque, Magnetism, Magnetic moment, Force, Sound


Electronic carriers in graphene show a high carrier mobility at room temperature. Thus, this system is widely viewed as a potential future charge-based high-speed electronic material to complement-or replace-silicon. At the same time, the spin properties of graphene have suggested improved capability for spin-based electronics or spintronics and spin-based quantum computing. As a result, the detection, characterization and transport of spin have become topics of interest in graphene. Here we report a microwave photo-excited transport study of monolayer and trilayer graphene that reveals an unexpectedly strong microwave-induced electrical response and dual microwave-induced resonances in the dc resistance. The results suggest the resistive detection of spin resonance, and provide a measurement of the g-factor, the spin relaxation time and the sub-lattice degeneracy splitting at zero magnetic field.

Concepts: Electron, Electromagnetism, Fundamental physics concepts, Spin, Nuclear magnetic resonance, Magnetic moment, Materials science, Physical quantities


A major obstacle to the efficient production of antibody conjugates for therapy and diagnosis is the non-ideal performance of commonly used chemical methods for the attachment of effector-molecules to the antibody of interest. Here we demonstrate that this limitation can be simply addressed using 3,4-substituted maleimides to bridge and thus functionalize disulfide bonds to generate homogeneous antibody conjugates. This one-step conjugation reaction is fast, site-specific, quantitative and generates products with full binding activity, good plasma stability and the desired functional properties. Furthermore, the rigid nature of this modification by disulfide bridging enables the successful detection of antigen with a spin labeled antibody fragment by continuous-wave electron paramagnetic resonance (cw-EPR), which we report here for the first time. Antigen detection is concentration dependent, observable in human blood and allows the discrimination of fragments with different binding affinity. We envisage broad potential for antibody based in-solution diagnostic methods by EPR or ‘spinostics’.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Protein, Magnetic field, Blood, Fundamental physics concepts, Magnetic moment, Electron paramagnetic resonance


The realization of a controllable metamagnetic transition from AFM to FM ordering would open the door to a plethora of new spintronics based devices that, rather than reorienting spins in a ferromagnet, harness direct control of a materials intrinsic magnetic ordering. In this study FeRh films with drastically reduced transition temperatures and a large magneto-thermal hysteresis were produced for magnetocaloric and spintronics applications. Remarkably, giant controllable magnetization changes (measured to be as high has ~25%) are realized by manipulating the strain transfer from the external lattice when subjected to two structural phase transitions of BaTiO3 (001) single crystal substrate. These magnetization changes are the largest seen to date to be controllably induced in the FeRh system. Using polarized neutron reflectometry we reveal how just a slight in plane surface strain change at ~290C results in a massive magnetic transformation in the bottom half of the film clearly demonstrating a strong lattice-spin coupling in FeRh. By means of these substrate induced strain changes we show a way to reproducibly explore the effects of temperature and strain on the relative stabilities of the FM and AFM phases in multi-domain metamagnetic systems. This study also demonstrates for the first time the depth dependent nature of a controllable magnetic order using strain in an artificial multiferroic heterostructure.

Concepts: Magnetic field, Fundamental physics concepts, Spin, Paramagnetism, Magnetism, Ferromagnetism, Magnetic moment, Permeability


Excitation of magnetization dynamics by pure spin currents has been recently recognized as an enabling mechanism for spintronics and magnonics, which allows implementation of spin-torque devices based on low-damping insulating magnetic materials. Here we report the first spatially-resolved study of the dynamic modes excited by pure spin current in nanometer-thick microscopic insulating Yttrium Iron Garnet disks. We show that these modes exhibit nonlinear self-broadening preventing the formation of the self-localized magnetic bullet, which plays a crucial role in the stabilization of the single-mode magnetization oscillations in all-metallic systems. This peculiarity associated with the efficient nonlinear mode coupling in low-damping materials can be among the main factors governing the interaction of pure spin currents with the dynamic magnetization in high-quality magnetic insulators.

Concepts: Electron, Electromagnetism, Magnetic field, Spin, Electric current, Magnetism, Magnetic moment, Insulator


The single-atom bit represents the ultimate limit of the classical approach to high-density magnetic storage media. So far, the smallest individually addressable bistable magnetic bits have consisted of 3-12 atoms. Long magnetic relaxation times have been demonstrated for single lanthanide atoms in molecular magnets, for lanthanides diluted in bulk crystals, and recently for ensembles of holmium (Ho) atoms supported on magnesium oxide (MgO). These experiments suggest a path towards data storage at the atomic limit, but the way in which individual magnetic centres are accessed remains unclear. Here we demonstrate the reading and writing of the magnetism of individual Ho atoms on MgO, and show that they independently retain their magnetic information over many hours. We read the Ho states using tunnel magnetoresistance and write the states with current pulses using a scanning tunnelling microscope. The magnetic origin of the long-lived states is confirmed by single-atom electron spin resonance on a nearby iron sensor atom, which also shows that Ho has a large out-of-plane moment of 10.1 ± 0.1 Bohr magnetons on this surface. To demonstrate independent reading and writing, we built an atomic-scale structure with two Ho bits, to which we write the four possible states and which we read out both magnetoresistively and remotely by electron spin resonance. The high magnetic stability combined with electrical reading and writing shows that single-atom magnetic memory is indeed possible.

Concepts: Electron, Magnetic field, Spin, Atom, Nuclear magnetic resonance, Magnetism, Magnetic moment, Storage media


Additive manufacturing allows for the production of complex parts with minimum material waste, offering an effective technique for fabricating permanent magnets which frequently involve critical rare earth elements. In this report, we demonstrate a novel method - Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) - to fabricate isotropic near-net-shape NdFeB bonded magnets with magnetic and mechanical properties comparable or better than those of traditional injection molded magnets. The starting polymer magnet composite pellets consist of 65 vol% isotropic NdFeB powder and 35 vol% polyamide (Nylon-12). The density of the final BAAM magnet product reached 4.8 g/cm(3), and the room temperature magnetic properties are: intrinsic coercivity Hci = 688.4 kA/m, remanence Br = 0.51 T, and energy product (BH)max = 43.49 kJ/m(3) (5.47 MGOe). In addition, tensile tests performed on four dog-bone shaped specimens yielded an average ultimate tensile strength of 6.60 MPa and an average failure strain of 4.18%. Scanning electron microscopy images of the fracture surfaces indicate that the failure is primarily related to the debonding of the magnetic particles from the polymer binder. The present method significantly simplifies manufacturing of near-net-shape bonded magnets, enables efficient use of rare earth elements thus contributing towards enriching the supply of critical materials.

Concepts: Electron, Magnetic field, Magnet, Magnetism, Magnetic moment, Nylon, Tensile strength, Lodestone


Magnetic field can generate interface instability when some liquids are put close to magnetic field. A well-known interface instability is called Rosensweig instability or normal field instability. Here we report that pure liquid Co can be highly undercooled close to its Curie temperature in strong magnetic field with very high magnetization and exhibiting unique morphology instability called the normal field instability. To obtain such unique instability pattern, the sample size, undercooling and magnetic field intensity need fulfill certain condition. In the present study, we have studied the required condition for obtaining normal field instability. The magnetization of the undercooled liquid Co is measured in a wide temperature range with different magnetic field intensities and calculated as a function of undercooling and field intensity. The critical size and critical magnetization for the normal field instability are calculated with the changing temperature and field intensity. Then the required conditions including the critical size, the minimum undercooling and field intensity for the existence of the instability pattern formation are determined.

Concepts: Magnetic field, Fundamental physics concepts, Temperature, Paramagnetism, Magnetism, Ferromagnetism, Magnetic moment, Liquid


Magnetically actuated ciliary microrobots were designed, fabricated, and manipulated to mimic cilia-based microorganisms such as paramecia. Full three-dimensional (3D) microrobot structures were fabricated using 3D laser lithography to form a polymer base structure. A nickel/titanium bilayer was sputtered onto the cilia part of the microrobot to ensure magnetic actuation and biocompatibility. The microrobots were manipulated by an electromagnetic coil system, which generated a stepping magnetic field to actuate the cilia with non-reciprocal motion. The cilia beating motion produced a net propulsive force, resulting in movement of the microrobot. The magnetic forces on individual cilia were calculated with various input parameters including magnetic field strength, cilium length, applied field angle, actual cilium angle, etc., and the translational velocity was measured experimentally. The position and orientation of the ciliary microrobots were precisely controlled, and targeted particle transportation was demonstrated experimentally.

Concepts: Electron, Electromagnetism, Magnetic field, Electric field, Magnetism, Ferromagnetism, Magnetic moment, Magnetic flux


Magnetic materials underpin modern technologies, ranging from data storage to energy conversion to contactless sensing. However, the development of a new high-performance magnet is a long and often unpredictable process, and only about two dozen magnets are featured in mainstream applications. We describe a systematic pathway to the design of novel magnetic materials, which demonstrates a high throughput and discovery speed. On the basis of an extensive electronic structure library of Heusler alloys containing 236,115 prototypical compounds, we filtered those displaying magnetic order and established whether they can be fabricated at thermodynamic equilibrium. Specifically, we carried out a full stability analysis of intermetallic Heusler alloys made only of transition metals. Among the possible 36,540 prototypes, 248 were thermodynamically stable but only 20 were magnetic. The magnetic ordering temperature, TC, was estimated by a regression calibrated on the experimental TC of about 60 known compounds. As a final validation, we attempted the synthesis of a few of the predicted compounds and produced two new magnets: Co2MnTi, which displays a remarkably high TC in perfect agreement with the predictions, and Mn2PtPd, which is an antiferromagnet. Our work paves the way for large-scale design of novel magnetic materials at potentially high speed.

Concepts: Magnetic field, Magnet, Temperature, Magnetism, Ferromagnetism, Thermodynamics, Magnetic moment, Intermetallics