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New $650k DoD grant explores new methods for controlling magnetic order

Magnetic materials are the workhorse medium for cloud data storage technologies. Magnetic data storage technologies write electronic information by mechanically moving an electromagnetic head to flip the orientation of a magnetic moment. While robust and cost-effective, this approach for writing information is slow. As a result, magnetic materials don’t contribute to non-cloud memory applications, such as solid-state memories in consumer electronics, or random-access memories for logic applications.

With a $650k grant from the DOD Research and Education Program for developing Basic Research at Minority-Serving Institutions, Profs. Richard Wilson, Sinisa Coh, and Luat Vuong will explore new methods for controlling magnetic order with heat and light. The first goal of this project is to discover metals with whose magnetic order is coupled strongly to heat and/or light.  The team will identify how recently discovered phenomena such as the spin-dependent Seebeck effect and inverse Faraday effect depend on the atomic-composition in ternary metal alloys. The second goal of this project is to establish UCR as a leader in high-throughput methodologies for synthesis, characterization, and modeling of ferromagnetic metals. The project will help educate the next generation of scientists and engineers and strengthen UCR as an innovation hub in the Inland Empire.