Magnetic materials

Skyrmions—magnetic bubbles that may be useful places to store data

By Eileen De Guire / June 11, 2012

Magnetic eddies in silicon manganese, so-called skyrmions, form a regular grid. Moving these skyrmions needs 100,000 times smaller currents than existing technologies. But, inquiring minds will ask, what is a skyrmion? Credit: TUM. Part of what I enjoy about my job is coming across cool words that come with cool science, like skyrmion and helimagnet.…

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Magnetic hexaferrites have an attractive future

By Robert C. Pullar / May 29, 2012

SEM photograph of hexagonal ferrite crystals. 30000 X magnification, scale bar = 1 microns (0.0001 cm). Credit: Robert C. Pullar. Hexagonal ferrite ceramics have well known abilities and properties, and are used in everything from fridge magnets to high-tech applications. Now, scientists have discovered room-temperature multiferroic hexaferrites, a development that extends the capabilities of these…

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Supply chain issues drive rare earth economics

By Eileen De Guire / April 27, 2012

Access to rare earths needs to be addressed at all points in the supply chain, experts say. Credit: The Bulletin, ACerS. In March the US, Japan and European Union filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization against China contending that its export rules violate international trade rules. At present, China controls about 95 percent…

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Other materials stories that may be of interest

By / April 24, 2012

Process flow of preparing the vertically aligned single-walled CNTs-DSCs. Pre-etched VASWCNTs on silicon substrate (Process 1) were flipped on top of the FTO-glass, and then a force was loaded onside the silicon top. Credit: Feng Hao et al.; Nature Scientific Reports. Check ’em out: NIST mini-sensor measures magnetic activity in human brain A miniature atom-based…

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What are the ‘Grand Challenges’ for ceramic research?

By Eileen De Guire / March 20, 2012

Mario Affatigato from Coe College identified the interaction between glass and living matter as a grand challenge that can be addressed by the glass and ceramics research community. Credit: ACerS. What are the next “grand challenges” for ceramic materials research? What emerging research areas should the ceramic materials research community make its priority? What are…

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UMich researchers closer to producing piezo-powered pacemaker

By / March 5, 2012

Power output of the nonlinear bistable energy harvester, conceived as a way to use heartbeats to power a pacemaker device . X-axis is the thickness of the piezoelectric layer. Credit Karami and Inman, Univ. of Mich.; Applied Physics Letters. A heart-powered pacemaker? Although the concept may seem novel, the goal of eliminating a pacemaker’s battery (and…

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A magnetic tongue stud and sensor system for steering wheelchairs

By Eileen De Guire / March 5, 2012

A tongue drive system that fits inside a dental retainer could improve mobility for people with high-level spinal cord injuries. Credit: Maysam Ghovanloo; Georgia Institute of Technology. An innovative alliance between body piercing, orthodontics and electronics could give people with high-level spinal cord injuries much more ability to interact with the world. The “Tongue Drive…

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Historic January 1987: YBCO superconductors discovered and Super Bowl XXI

By Eileen De Guire / January 31, 2012

This timeline of discovery of superconducting materials shows how dramatic the discovery of high-Tc YBCO was. Credit: Wikipedia. Do you recall where you were the weekend before the Super Bowl in 1987? Me neither. No matter, let’s play some Jeopardy, shall we? Me: “Alex, I’ll take Super Bowl Weekends for $100.” Alex: “The answer is…

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Other materials stories that may be of interest

By / January 17, 2012

Check ’em out: Warning on fracture of the alumina-bearing couple delta ceramic liner in hip implants Although the fracture rate of third-generation alumina-bearing couples is low, we believe that it may not be possible to eliminate the actual risk of alumina head fracture. Patients should be informed about the potential for this complication before receiving…

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Optimizing YBCO superconductor magnet design

By Eileen De Guire / November 1, 2011

Snapshot of 3D temperature distribution in YBCO tape during quench show a very high local temperature gradient. A multiscale modeling approach developed at North Carolina State University helps optimize superconductor geometry and properties. Credit: Justin Schwartz, NCSU. Twenty-five years after their discovery, some high-temperature superconductors are starting to be used in applications. Since the beginning,…

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