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Iowa State Researchers Discover Possible Route to Terahertz Storage Speeds

By Network World

April 16, 2013

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Ultra-short laser pulses and special materials can be used to switch magnetism about 1,000 times faster than current storage devices, say Iowa State University (ISU) researchers.

Their findings show the results of experiments with colossal magnetoresistive (CMR) materials, which can sharply change their magnetic resistance in the presence of an electrical field. The technique also would enable random-access memory modules or hard drives to use much less energy to change zeros to ones at a much faster rate than what is currently achievable.

Still, the technology is unlikely to reach shelves anytime soon. "Colossal magnetoresistive materials are very appealing for use in technologies, but we still need to understand more about how they work," says ISU professor Jigang Wang. "And, in particular, we must understand what happens during the very short periods of time when heating is not significant and the laser pulses are still interacting with magnetic moments in CMR materials."

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