Sci­en­tists trans­form heat into mo­tion in nanoscale de­vices

Chemical Industry Digest - - Science Pages -

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-

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