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Today: Jun 12, 2024
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Discover Altermagnetism: The game-changer for tech and research possibilities

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TLDR: Researchers have discovered a new type of magnetism called altermagnetism, which has significant implications for spintronics and other technologies. Altermagnets have a unique combination of spin arrangements and crystal symmetries, resulting in properties that resemble both ferromagnetism and antiferromagnetism. This makes them highly useful for next-generation magnetic memory technology and offers new opportunities for exploring unconventional superconductivity. The discovery of altermagnetism was made through experiments at the Swiss Light Source SLS, using spin- and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy. This new fundamental understanding of magnetism is expected to have a broad impact on various research fields and technologies.

In a groundbreaking study published in Nature, researchers have reported the discovery of altermagnetism, a new type of fundamental magnetism with significant implications for spintronics and other technologies.

Magnetism has traditionally been divided into two fundamental branches: ferromagnetism and antiferromagnetism. Ferromagnets, such as the magnets that stick to the fridge, have all their spins pointing in the same direction, while antiferromagnetic materials have spins pointing in alternating directions, resulting in no net magnetization.

The discovery of altermagnetism adds a new branch to the magnetic family. Altermagnets have a unique combination of spin arrangements and crystal symmetries, resulting in properties that resemble both ferromagnets and antiferromagnets. They have zero net magnetization, but also exhibit strong spin-dependent phenomena, which are typically found in ferromagnetic materials.

This combination of properties makes altermagnets highly promising for next-generation magnetic memory technology, known as spintronics. Spintronic devices use not only the charge of electrons, but also their spin state, to carry and manipulate information.

While ferromagnetic materials have been traditionally used for spintronic devices, their macroscopic net magnetization limits their scalability and energy efficiency. Antiferromagnets, on the other hand, lack the strong spin-dependent effects needed for practical applicability.

Altermagnets offer the best of both worlds: zero net magnetization and strong spin-dependent phenomena. This makes them ideal for developing spintronic devices that can overcome the limitations of current technologies and allow for ultra-scalable and energy-efficient data storage.

The discovery of altermagnetism was made through experiments at the Swiss Light Source SLS, using spin- and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy. This technique allowed the researchers to visualize the unique spin symmetry characteristics of altermagnets.

The researchers believe that altermagnetism will have a broad impact across various research fields and technologies. In addition to its applications in spintronics, altermagnets offer a promising platform for exploring unconventional superconductivity and gaining new insights into superconducting states that arise in different magnetic materials.

Overall, the discovery of altermagnetism opens up new possibilities in the field of magnetism and its applications. It provides a deeper understanding of the fundamental physics of magnetic materials and paves the way for the development of more advanced and efficient technologies in the future.