EPFL team uses perovskites to show how magneto-optical drives could be cheaper and faster than HDDs

Physicists at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have used perovskite materials to alter a magnetic bit’s polarity with light, potentially opening the door to denser and faster disk drives using magneto-optical technology.

EPFL introduces perovskite-based light-operated hard drives image

Researchers László Forró, Bálint Náfrádi, Péter Szirmai and Endre Horváth suggest magneto-optical drives using this method could be physically smaller, faster and cheaper than today’s disk drives. They also say it is an alternative to heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR).

Cornell team uses laser pulses to change the properties of a perovskite material

Researchers at Cornell used theoretical techniques to predict that using intense mid-infrared laser light on a titanium perovskite can dynamically induce a magnetic phase transition – taking the material from its ferromagnetic ground state to a hidden anti-ferromagnetic phase. This dramatic shift could have useful applications, particularly in optical information processing.

“It would be a kind of optical switch,” the researchers said. “You have a material where it’s magnetic and ‘non-magnetic.’ It’s going between those two states with light”.

A new perovskite material may open the door to next-gen data storage

EPFL scientists have developed a new perovskite material whose magnetic order can be rapidly changed without disrupting it due to heating. This novel material may potentially be used to build next-generation hard drives.

The EPFL team synthesized a ferromagnetic photovoltaic material. This material is a modified version of perovskite, that exhibits unique properties that make it particularly interesting as a material to build next-generation digital storage systems. The researchers explain that they have basically created the first magnetic photoconductor; This new crystal structure combines the advantages of both ferromagnets, whose magnetic moments are aligned in a well-defined order, and photoconductors, where light illumination generates high density free conduction electrons.