» Nebraska-MRSEC researchers in collaboration with researchers in Spain and at the University of Wisconsin have discovered a significantly more efficient method of data storage that offers great promise for the future of technology. To date, researchers have relied on the electrical voltage to store information. However, Gruverman's team found that the same bit could be written simply by pressing harder against the ferroelectric material's surface. In a sense and in this case, the probe's needle works much like a nanoscopic typewriter in its ability to write data in a very specific area on a ferroelectric film and leave data behind without damaging the surface. That finding makes the research team the first to demonstrate that mechanical force can be used to change an area’s polarization. National Science Foundation (NSF) Discoveries - Discovery May Lead to Significantly More Efficient Method of Data Storage Listen to Alexei Gruverman's interview on the April 6th Science podcast.
» Nebraska-MRSEC researchers have made a significant breakthrough in the field of spintronics. For the first time they changed the orientation of a very large number of electron spins collectively at room temperature by pure electrical means, a feature that could eventually make devices that use spintronics more readily available for everyday uses. Their method could revolutionize information technology by reducing power consumption, providing faster processing speeds and improving device function as compared to today's electronics. National Science Foundation (NSF) Discoveries - Researchers Control Collective Spin States
» Nebraska-MRSEC researchers in collaboration with researchers from University of Wisconsin-Madison have proven the concept of ferroelectric tunnel junction. Using advanced scanning probe techniques and ultrathin epitaxial ferroelectric BaTiO3 films grown on SrRuO3 electrodes they demonstrated the correlation between ferroelectric polarization orientation (top image) and the tunneling current flowing from a conductive-AFM tip through the BaTiO3 barrier layer (bottom image). These results support theoretical predictions made earlier by MRSEC researchers and open the way to employ ferroelectric tunnel junctions in novel nano-electronic devices and advanced data storage applications. (Nanowerk News)