New nanotechnology research from Purdue University might lead to cheaper but faster computer memories and higher density magnetic data storage.
The research, published in the November issue of the Angewandte Chemie, reports on a simple and cheap solution to shrinking data storage. The research team has found a way to create tiny magnetic rings from cobalt particles. These rings are self assembling, are smaller than 100 nanometers across and can store magnetic information at room temperature.
The cobalt nanoparticles, used to form the rings, have magnetic north and south poles and join up when brought together. Under the right conditions, instead of forming simple chains, they assemble into rings.
Once formed into rings a collective magnetic state known as flux closure occurs. This means that within the rings themselves there is strong magnetic force, or flux, but there is a zero net magnetic effect on the outside. Manipulation of this magnetic state could be utilised for data storage.