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Nanomagnets for signal processing at microwave frequencies

Nanometer-scale magnets, when acted upon by a magnetic field, have unusual and potentially very useful dynamical properties. The orientation of their magnetic poles can undergo high-quality oscillations generating electromagnetic fields. It has been predicted that these motions could be used in making extremely compact circuits for high-speed computing and communications. However, previously it has been impossible to test these predictions because there has been no experimental technique capable of measuring the motion of the magnetic poles in a single nanoscale magnet as a function of time. The magnetic field changes produced by the motion are too small to detect. By embedding the nanoscale magnet in an electrical device whose resistance changes when the nanomagnet's poles shift, CNS investigators have recently achieved the first measurements of a single nanomagnet as its oscillations are launched. This work indicates that nanoscale magnets can be applied to make new devices such as microwave-frequency signal sources and detectors that will enable improved high-speed signal processing.

Electrically-detected oscillations of the magnetic poles of a single magnet with a size of just 130 nanometers x 60 nanometers x 4 nanometers

[Lead CNS Investigators: D. C. Ralph and R. A. Buhrman ]

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