A team of scientists has reported direct visualization of magnetic charge crystallization in an artificial spin ice material, a first in the study of a relatively new class of frustrated artificial magnetic materials-by-design known as “Artificial Spin Ice.”
These charges are analogs to electrical charges with possible applications in magnetic memories and devices; in describing this class of materials, the new work demonstrates their utility.
Los Alamos National Laboratory staff scientist Cristiano Nisoli explained, “Magnetic technology generally concerns itself with manipulation of localized dipolar degrees of freedom,” he said. “The ability of building materials containing delocalized monopolar charges is very exciting with possible technological implications in data storage and computation.”
Honeycomb configuration helps disassemble magnetic islands
“The emergence of magnetic monopoles in spin ice systems is a particular case of what physicists call fractionalization, or deconfinement of quasi-particles that together are seen as comprising the fundamental unit of the system, in this case the north and south poles of a nanomagnet,” Nisoli said.