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Ultra-fast magnetic switching with potential to transform fiber optic communications



Ultra-fast magnetic switching with potential to transform fiber optic communications

Credit: Trinity College Dublin

Researchers at CRANN and the Trinity School of Physics have discovered that new material can act as a super-fast magnetic switch.

When struck by successive ultrashort laser pulses, it features a “lever switch” that could increase the capacity of the global fiber optic cable network by an order of magnitude.

Expanding the capacity of the Internet

Switching between two states (0 and 1

) is the basis of digital technology and the backbone of the Internet. The vast majority of all the data we download is magnetically stored in huge data centers around the world, linked by a fiber optic network.

There are three obstacles to moving forward with the Internet, namely the speed and power consumption of the semiconductor or magnetic switches that process and store our data and the ability of the fiber optic network to manage it.

The new discovery of ultra-fast lever switching using laser light in mirror-like films of an alloy of manganese, ruthenium and gallium known as MRG could help with all three problems.

Light not only offers a great advantage in terms of speed, but magnetic switches do not need energy to maintain their state. More importantly, they now offer the ability to quickly multiplex the time domain of the existing fiber network, which could allow you to manage ten times as much data.

The science behind magnetic change

Working in CRANN’s photonics lab, Trinity’s nanoscience research center, Dr. Chandrima Banerjee and Dr. Jean Besbas used ultrafast laser pulses that lasted only one hundred femtoseconds (ten thousandths of a second) to change magnetization. of round-trip MRG thin films. The direction of the magnetization can point inward or outward from the film.

With each successive laser pulse, it rotates sharply in its direction. It is believed that each pulse momentarily heats the electrons in MRG about 1,000 degrees, which causes a rotation of its magnetization. The discovery of MRG’s ultra-fast lever switching has just been published in the leading international journal, Nature Communications.

Dr. Karsten Rode, a senior researcher in the “Magnetism and Spin Electronics Group” at Trinity’s School of Physics, suggests that the discovery only marks the beginning of a new and interesting direction of research.

Dr. Rode said: “We have a lot of work to do to fully understand the behavior of atoms and electrons in a solid that is far from equilibrium on a femtosecond time scale. In particular, how can magnetism change so quickly while obeying? the fundamental law of physics that says the angular momentum must be conserved? In the spirit of our spintronics team, we will now collect data from new pulsed laser experiments on MRG and other materials, to better understand these dynamics. and link the ultra-fast optical response with electronic transport. We plan experiments with ultra-fast electronic pulses to test the hypothesis that the origin of the toggle switch is purely thermal. ”

Next year, Chandrima will continue to work at the University of Haifa, Israel, with a group that can generate even shorter laser pulses. Trinity researchers, led by Karsten, are planning a new joint project with collaborators from the Netherlands, France, Norway and Switzerland, with the aim of demonstrating the concept of ultra-fast time domain multiplexing of fiber optic channels.


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More information:
C. Banerjee et al. All-optical lever switching of a single magnetization pulse without gadolinium in the Mn2RuxGa ferrim, Nature Communications (2020). DOI: 10.1038 / s41467-020-18340-9

Provided by Trinity College Dublin



Citation: Ultrafast magnetic change with potential to transform fiber optic communications (2020, September 15) retrieved September 15, 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2020-09-ultra-fast-magnetic-potential-fiber -optical. html

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