Quick and Cheap Data Storage?

New Multiferroic Material Is Both Electrically Charged and Magnetic

HZB scientists observe how a material at room temperature exhibits a unique property — a „multiferroic" material with potential uses for cheap and quick data storage.

Researchers at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) in close collaboration with colleagues in France and UK, have engineered a material that exhibits a rare and versatile trait in magnetism at room temperature. It’s called a "multiferroic," and it means that the material has properties allowing it to be both electrically charged (ferroelectric) and also the ability to be magnetic (ferromagnetic), with its magnetisation controlled by electricity.

This research was based around a material known as barium titanate (BaTiO3), a ferroelectric crystal that is promising to have potential uses in multi-state data storage while being cost effective. Their paper titled, "Interface-induced room-temperature multiferroicity in BaTiO3" appears now in Nature Materials.

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HZB staff scientist Florin Radu checks the BaTiO3 sample alignment in the ALICE diffractometer. (Credit: Image courtesy of Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres)

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