A new holographic memory device can provide unprecedented data storage capacity and data processing capabilities in electronic devices like computer, pen drive or cell phone.
This memory device uses spin waves - a collective oscillation of spins in magnetic materials - instead of the optical beams.
Spin waves are advantageous because spin wave devices are compatible with the conventional electronic devices and may operate at a much shorter wavelength than optical devices.
"The results open a new field of research which may have tremendous impact on the development of new logic and memory devices," said Alexander Khitun, lead researcher at University of California, Riverside.
It is feasible to apply holographic techniques developed in optics to magnetic structures to create a magnonic holographic memory device.
Holography is a technique based on the wave nature of light which allows the use of wave interference between the object beam and the coherent background.
It is commonly associated with images being made from light, such as on driver’s licenses or paper currency. However, this is only a narrow field of holography.
Khitun and his team conducted the experiments using a 2-bit magnonic holographic memory prototype device.
A pair of magnets, which represent the memory elements, were aligned in different positions on the magnetic waveguides.
Spin waves propagating through the waveguides are affected by the magnetic field produced by the magnets.
When spin waves interference was applied in the experiments, a clear picture was produced and the researchers could recognise the magnetic states of the magnets, said the findings published in the journal Applied Physics Letters.