Scientists from universities in Julich, Beijing, and Uppsala are working on improving very high resolution magnetic measurements. This revolutionary new method now allows researchers to measure the magnetism of individual atomic planes. These magnetic nanostructures can be used in a diverse range of applications — particularly in the storage of data on hard drives.
This innovation should prove extremely useful. As our need for increasingly powerful electronic devices grows, technology must scramble to keep up. Spintronic components are becoming more and more vital, as is the need for these units to be only a few nanometers in size. Detailed imaging makes building new spintronic devices far easier and more effective. The new transmission electron microscope hopes to solve that particular problem.
The electron microscope is a fascinating new experimental tool. Unlike optical microscopes, an electron microscope uses electrons, which allow for major magnifications of the materials being studied. Electron microscopes can also provide researchers with extensive data on the chemistry, structure, and composition of a material. Additionally, the microscope can be used to measure the magnetic properties of a specific material. While atomic resolution has yet to be reached in this particular application, scientists are hard at work to make this a reality.
Despite this setback, the advances made with the electron microscope have been immense. Thanks to extensive research, scientists have experimentally proven a new method of measurement. This technique enables scientists to conduct magnetic measurements of individual atomic planes. To accomplish this, scientists use a special transmission electron microscope PICO. The microscope allows researchers to correct chromatic and geometrical aberrations. It also grants researchers an unprecedented and highly detailed look at specific individual atomic planes.
Scientists believe that this research could be vital to the future of data storage — in particular the future of hard drives. The structures used in traditional hard drives are becoming exponentially smaller as technology improves and grows more powerful. The downside to this is that the structures used are so tiny that traditional magnetic measurements simply can’t provide sufficient resolution for the data at hand.
The electron microscope could solve this problem; in the meantime, it’s providing scientists with a whole new way to look at atomic planes.