Nanoscale magnetic circuit moves data in 3D

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Researchers at the University of Cambridge, working with a team from TU Eindhoven, have used 3D nanoprinting to create a nanoscale magnetic circuit which is said to be capable of moving information in three dimensions. The team claims this could lead to an ‘important increase’ in storage and processing capacities.

“We have demonstrated a new way to fabricate and use a magnetic device which, in a nanometric scale, can controllably move information along the three dimensions of space,” said Amalio Fernández-Pacheco from the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge.

Nano-magnets in an electron microscope, along with a gas injector, were used to 3D print a suspended scaffold on a 2D silicon substrate. After 3D nano-printing, magnetic material was deposited over the ensemble. By combining precise fabrication protocol with an tailor-made laser system, the researchers have demonstrated the detection of structures which are almost completely suspended and have widths of 300nm.

“Not only have we demonstrated a big leap in nanofabrication capacities, but, importantly, we have also developed a system which allows us to look at these tiny devices in a relatively simple way,” noted lead researcher Dédalo Sanz-Hernández. “The information within the device can be read using a single laser in dark-field configuration.”

“Projects such as this open the path to the development of a completely new generation of magnetic devices that can store move and process information in a very efficient way by exploiting the three dimensions of space,” Fernández-Pacheco concluded.