Ternary alloy with record-breaking high magnetic moment for thin film applications


The fields of spintronics and data storage have so far used magnetic materials limited by the Slater-Pauling curve governing magnetization density in alloys. Researchers at Montana State University and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a ternary FeCoMn alloy material with magnetic moment of 3.25 μB/atom—well beyond the previous record of 2.45 μB/atom, held by the binary FeCo alloy. This breakthrough has the potential to unlock the promise of numerous spintronics technologies, and to increase performance in magnetic data storage.

The technology uses epitaxial deposition to construct a bcc film for an alloy that would otherwise be fcc, driving its magnetic moment higher than the bulk material. While this was achieved using molecular beam epitaxy (MBE), the high magnetic moment film should be general to conventional manufacturing techniques, such as PVD sputtering.

Key Benefits

high magnetic moment


* non-volatile magnetic memory devices (e.g. MRAM, ST-MRAM, STT-MRAM)
* magnetic media (media, read/write heads)
* sensors (GMR, TMR)

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