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New Magnetic Behavior in Nanoparticles Discovered

By Autonomous ­niversity of Barcelona

December 26, 2013

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Autonomous University of Barcelona researchers say they have reproduced the antiferromagnetic coupling between layers in particles measuring 10 to 20 nanometers, which they say could have have several technological applications, such as smaller-sized digital memories.

This phenomenon appears when coupling layers of materials with different magnetic properties, which controls the magnetic behavior of an entire device. For the first time, the researchers have replicated this phenomenon in nanoscopic materials. They achieved this by using iron-oxide particles surrounded by a thin layer of manganese-oxide and vice versa.

The researchers note their discovery provides an unprecedented level of control over the magnetic behavior of nanoparticles because it allows controlling and easily adjusting the materials' properties without having to manipulate their shape or composition.

"We've been able to reproduce a magnetic behavior not previously observed in nanoparticles, and this paves the way for miniaturization up to limits which seemed impossible for magnetic storage and other more sophisticated applications such as spin filters, magnetic codifiers, and multi-level recording," says Barcelona professors Josep Nogues and Maria Dolors Baro.

From Autonomous University of Barcelona
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