New material for faster and more powerful memories

New material for faster and more powerful memories


Smartphones and computers will store much more data and much faster, thanks to a cheap alloy that reduces the magnetic friction of the current media.

We have always been told that in our home computer we could store our entire library and our whole collection of disks, beginning with the good old LPs. It always surprised us that so much information could be contained in such a small space, so small to fit in our pocket, inside our phone.

Now, the efficiency of those memories can be further increased, overcoming the magnetic friction problem that slows the data input. The study of the Department of Physics and Astronomy of Uppsala University, presented on Nature Physics, led to the discovery of a new combination of materials that opens the way for a faster and more efficient storage in electronic devices eliminating the loss of energy in the dynamics of magnetic materials, resulting in a very small so-called magnetic damping.

As good Swedes, the researchers made an example taken from hockey: although it is on the ice, the puck shot by a player gradually loses its momentum and stops. Blame the friction! The magnetic friction of an electronic storage medium can be reduced thanks to an alloy of iron and cobalt, common and cheap materials.