A new magnetic phenomenon with industrial potential has been discovered

Illustration of boundary magnetism detected in CrGeTe3 by nanoscale magnetic microscopy. Credit: Ori Lerman

Working with the smallest magnets, the Hebrew University discovers a new magnetic phenomenon with industrial potential.

For physicists, the study of a very, very small area is a wonderland. Completely new and unexpected phenomena open up on a nanoscale, where materials up to 100 atoms thin are studied. Here nature ceases to behave as predicted by the macroscopic laws of physics, unlike what happens in the world or in space.

Dr. Jonathan Anagora of the Institute of Cancer Physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) led a team of researchers that included doctoral student Avia Noah. He spoke of his astonishment, looking at images of magnetism generated by nanomagnets, “we first saw how a magnet behaves this way,” as he described images that revealed the phenomenon of “edge magnetism”.

The images showed that the magnetic material studied by researchers from HU kept its magnetism only at its edge – in fact only within 10 nanometers from the edge (remember, human hair is about 100,000 nanometers). Their results were recently published in a prestigious journal Nano sheets.

Avia Noah and Jonathan Anagora

From left to right: Avia Noah from HU and Jonathan Anahori. Credit: Hebrew University

This nanoeffect, although very small, can be widely used in our daily lives. “In today’s technology race to make each component smaller and more energy efficient, efforts are focused on small magnets of various shapes,” Anahori shared. The new extreme magnetism offers the ability to produce long wire magnets only 10 nanometers thick that can bend into any shape. “It could revolutionize the way we make spintronics,” Anachori added, referring to next-generation nanoelectronic devices with reduced power consumption and increased memory and processing capabilities.

The real discovery of boundary magnetism was somewhat accidental: Anahori decided to look at a new magnetic nano-material (CGT) produced by his colleague from the Autonomous University of Madrid in Spain. The discovery ultimately relied on images obtained using a new type of magnetic microscopy developed in Israel that can measure the magnetic field of a single electron. The discovery of new phenomena is based on very sophisticated new technologies. In addition, the phenomena themselves will underlie even more advanced technologies, as demonstrated by extreme magnetism.

Reference: “Internal and boundary magnetization in thin layered CrGeTe3 films” Avia Noah, Hyun Alpern, Surab Singh, Alon Gutfreund, Gilad Zisman, Tomer D. Feld, Atzmon Wakahi, Sergei Remennik, Yosi Paltiel, German Huntner, Victor Martin, Victor Martin , Hadar Steinberg, Odet Milo and Jonathan Anagora, March 10, 2022, Nano sheets.
DOI: 10.1021 / acs.nanolett.1c04665

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