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Magnetic charge crystallization in an artificial spin ice material

3-D depiction of honeycombed "artificial spin ice" topography after new protocol

A 3-D depiction of honeycombed "artificial spin ice" topography after a newly developed annealing protocol (heating the material to a high-enough temperature where its magnetic polarity is suppressed, in this case about 550 degrees Celsius) and cooling protocol. The light and dark colors on the ends of the nanoislands represent the islands' north and south magnetic poles.

Artificial spin ice is a fairly new class of frustrated artificial magnetic material-by-design. The new protocol, developed by a team of scientists led by University of Illinois (UI) physicist Peter Schiffer, allows the artificial material's full potential for highly complex magnetic interactions to be realized.

To read more about this research, see the UI news story Magnetic charge crystals imaged in artificial spin ice.

[Note: The deposition and thermal annealing of the artificial spin ice samples was carried out at the University of Minnesota by Liam O'Brien, Michael J. Erickson and Chris Leighton. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation's Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (MRSEC) program (grant DMR 08-19885). Some of the related theory work was also supported by the NSF MRSEC program (grant DMR 08-20404).]
(Date of Image: 2013)

Credit: Ian Gilbert, University of Illinois Department of Physics and Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory. This work was primarily funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Materials Sciences and Engineering Division (grant DE-SC0005313)

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