Identified in materials as thin as an atom. It could lead to new generation cards and other innovative electronic devices.
New generation cards and other innovative electronic devices become possible thanks to the new form of magnetism discovered thanks to international research published in the journal Physical Review Letters and to which Italy has participated with Austria, Hungary, and Germany. The first author of the research is Giacomo Bighin, of the Institute of Science and Technology of Austria.
“We have shown that a new type of magnetism is possible, where the magnets are obtained with atoms belonging to two different parallel metal sheets placed at a small distance from each other,” explained Luca Salasnich of the Department of Physics and Astronomy ‘Galileo Galilei ‘, of the University of Padua. “Some materials, including iron, become magnetic, that is, they become a kind of magnet, below a critical temperature known as the Curie temperature,” the researcher continued. “If the material is almost two-dimensional, that is, it is a sheet of very small thickness, this ferromagnetic transition can still occur, but it is usually much more difficult to study.”
Instead, the authors of the research succeeded in observing it, thanks to the mathematical models developed by Bighin and Nicolò Defenu, of the German University of Heidelberg, in collaboration with Andrea Trombettoni, of the International School for Advanced Studies (Sissa) of Trieste, and with Istvan Nandori, of the University of Debrecen. Calculations and simulations have shown that new magnetic phenomena can emerge at very low temperatures by positioning two metal sheets at a very close distance.
It is a result with important relapses because the same mathematical model used by the researchers “describes other physical systems in the same almost two-dimensional configuration as superconductors, superfluids and diluted atomic gases at low temperatures,” Salasnich noted. This opens the way to new technological applications in solid-state electronics. “Just think – he pointed out – to the magnetic cards we usually use, which work on the basis of magnetism and ferromagnetism”.