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"Science": Using Neutrons for Switchable Antiferromagnets

Jülich, 14 July 2017 – In the journal Science, a Chinese–German team of researchers has presented a novel synthetic antiferromagnetic material which may prove pioneering for progress in nanomedicine and information technology. Up until now, synthetic antiferromagnets have been manufactured primarily from transition metals and alloys. The scientists from the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei manufactured a different kind of antiferromagnet consisting of several oxide layers only a few nanometres thick, whose properties can be adapted to various applications in a targeted manner. In collaboration with Forschungszentrum Jülich, the researchers used neutron measurements at Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum (MLZ) to show that the individual layers of the new material can be magnetized and their polarity reversed – meaning that the magnetic states can be switched in a controlled fashion.

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