Advertisment

Altermagnetism: The Third Class of Magnetism and Its Potential Impact on Spintronics

author-image
Anthony Raphael
New Update
NULL

Altermagnetism: The Third Class of Magnetism and Its Potential Impact on Spintronics

Advertisment

Unveiling a New Class of Magnetism: Altermagnetism

Advertisment

In the world of physics, discoveries that change the way we understand natural phenomena are not just groundbreaking, but they also open up avenues for advancements in technology. One such recent discovery has been made by researchers at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, who have identified and experimentally demonstrated the existence of a new class of magnetism - altermagnetism.

Altermagnetism has been a subject of debate among experts until the recent study led by Professor Hans-Joachim Elmers at JGU provided experimental evidence, which was published in Science Advances. This innovative class of magnetism combines the advantages of two known types of magnetism: ferromagnets and antiferromagnets.

What Makes Altermagnetism Unique?

Advertisment

What sets altermagnetism apart is the fact that it exhibits a spin-polarized current while having neighboring magnetic moments that are always antiparallel to each other. This key characteristic of altermagnetism makes it a potentially revolutionary aspect in the realm of spintronics.

The researchers used a specially adapted momentum microscope to verify this effect. The experiment involved exposing a thin layer of ruthenium dioxide to X-rays and determining the velocity and spin directions of the electrons. This methodology provided the much-needed experimental evidence for altermagnetism.

Lifted Kramers Spin Degeneracy (LKSD) and Altermagnetism

Advertisment

Another fascinating aspect of altermagnetism is its relation to the concept of lifted Kramers spin degeneracy (LKSD). Altermagnets can host a range of new phenomena that are unparalleled in either the conventional ferromagnets or antiferromagnets. The study identified two distinct unconventional mechanisms of LKSD generated by the altermagnetic phase of centrosymmetric MnTe with vanishing net magnetization. These mechanisms are linked to Berry phase physics and have been theoretically shown to enable analogous spin polarized currents to those used for reading and writing information in ferromagnetic memory devices.

Altermagnetism’s Potential Impact on Spintronics

Altermagnetism could have a significant impact on the field of spintronics. This field involves the use of the intrinsic spin of electrons and their associated magnetic moment, in addition to their fundamental electronic charge, in solid-state devices. The introduction of altermagnetism in this field could potentially increase storage capacity in dynamic random access memory (DRAM) based on the spin polarization in the electronic bands.

Furthermore, altermagnetism could lead to more efficient and advanced information technology applications. It removes the capacity and speed limitations imposed by a net magnetization, enabling spin polarized currents used for reading and writing information in ferromagnetic memory devices. The discovery of altermagnetism signifies a step forward in the evolution of spintronics and opens up new possibilities for future technological advancements.

The Interdisciplinary Spintronics Research Group at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, with its multidisciplinary approach involving researchers from physics, materials science, chemistry, and computational science, continues to make strides in this exciting new field. As researchers work to further understand and harness the unique properties of altermagnetism, we can anticipate a future where the full potential of spintronics can be realized, leading to more efficient, advanced, and groundbreaking technological applications.

Advertisment
Chat with Dr. Medriva !