Watching magnetic nano 'tornadoes' in 3-D

Rendering of a snapshot of the reconstructed 3D magnetic structure. Credit: Claire Donnelly

Scientists have developed a three-dimensional imaging technique to observe complex behaviours in magnets, including fast-moving waves and ‘tornadoes’ thousands of times thinner than a human hair.

The team, from the Universities of Cambridge and Glasgow in the UK and ETH Zurich and the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland, used their technique to observe how the magnetisation behaves, the first time this has been done in three dimensions. The technique, called time-resolved magnetic laminography, could be used to understand and control the behaviour of new types of magnets for next-generation data storage and processing. The results are reported in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.
Magnets are widely used in applications from data storage to energy production and sensors. In…

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