NEWS SCIENCE

Scientists discover new type of magnet

A team of scientists has discovered the first robust example of a new type of magnet—one that holds promise for enhancing the performance of data storage technologies.This “singlet-based” magnet differs from conventional magnets, in which small magnetic constituents align with one another to create a strong magnetic field. By contrast, the newly uncovered singlet-based magnet has fields that pop in and out of existence, resulting in an unstable force–but also one that potentially has more flexibility than conventional counterparts.

A typical magnet contains a host of tiny “magnetic moments” that are locked into alignment with other magnetic moments, all acting in unison to create a magnetic field. Exposing this assembly to heat will eliminate the magnetism; these little moments will remain–but they’ll be pointing in random directions, no longer aligned.

This research, which also included NYU doctoral candidates Yishuai Xu, Erica Kotta, and Haowei He, was supported by the MRSEC Program of the National Science Foundation.

Image Credit – Phys.org