Scientists transform heat into motion in nanoscale devices
Ateam of scientists at University of Glasgow, UK have found a new way to transform ambient heat into motion in nanoscale devices – a discovery that could open up new possibilities for data storage, sensors, nanomotors and other applications.
For the study published in the journal Nature Materials, an international team of researchers described how they created a magnetic system capable of extracting thermal energy on the nanoscale, using the con- cept of a gear known as a ratchet, and turning magnetic energy into the directed rotation of the magnetization.
The thermal ratchet was realized in a material known as “artificial spin ice” made of an assembly of tiny nanomagnets of Permalloy, a nickel–iron alloy. The individual nanomagnets are just 470 nanometres long and 170 nanometers wide, with only a single magnetic domain. After magnetizing their sample, the researchers ob-