New cheap technology could be the basis of next-gen storage devices

Scientists are developing new materials – magnetic photoconductor that could lead the way for the next generation of memory storage systems which will have higher capacities and will also consume less energy.

Researchers are trying to find an alternative for the material which is used to make data storage devices. So the storage devices are always kept without any temperature fluctuations. A need for a substance which had better properties was long overdue.

Researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland have perfected a ferromagnetic photovoltaic material whose magnetic properties can be changed without disturbing it due to heating.

The material in question has some unique properties which make it as a material to build the next generation digital storage systems. Storage systems make use of magnetic properties to store data. As we all know the data is stored on compact discs or memory cards and magnetic tapes.

However, these storage devices suffer from a very big anomaly. The get corrupted with time and surrounding temperatures. As we are aware most of the storage system makes use of the magnetic properties to the substance. Magnetic properties often get altered with the increase in temperature. Magnetism in any material is produced by the interaction of localized and moving electrons. In other words, it is a competition between different movements of electrons.

The current silicon systems cost more and also use more power, but Perovskite photovoltaics are a better and cheaper alternative to them. This has elicited much interest among energy scientists

The magnetic state of any material cannot be changed without changing the structure of the electrons in the material’s chemistry. An easy method to alter the magnetic properties will be a very big advantage. This is exactly what the new material affords, and it combines the benefits of ferromagnets whose magnetic properties are well defined and photoconductors in which light illumination produces high-density free electrons.

A simple LED is enough to disrupt the magnetic properties and provide a high density of traveling electrons which can be modulated by changing the intensity of light. The energy required is very less, and the process is quick in the order of a millionth of a second.

It will provide the basis for developing a storage system which is stable in the long run; provide high data density, nonvolatile operation with re-writable properties with optical speed in reading and writing data.

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