Layered substance is candidate for future hard drives
DENVER — A small change in temperature can alter a newly fabricated material’s magnetic properties. It’s a unique feature that holds promise for building more dependable data storage devices. “No magnetic material known to man is known to do this,” said Ivan Schuller, a condensed matter physicist at the University of California, San Diego. He described the material March 3 at a meeting of the American Physical Society.
Schuller’s creation consists of nickel layered atop a vanadium oxide compound. Researchers had previously shown that the oxide is an electric insulator at low temperatures and a conductor at higher ones. But by adding nickel, the researchers found that the hybrid material’s magnetism also became linked to temperature. Schuller and his team manipulated the material’s coercivity, a measure of how difficult it is to switch the magnetic state, by adjusting the temperature over a 20-degree-Celsius range.