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Huygens colloquium Alexey Kimel: "Femtosecond opto‐magnetism: cold writing at the edge of time” (Lecture)

Monday 18 March 2019Add to my calendar
from 12:30
prof. Alexey Kimel (Ultrafast Spectroscopy of Correlated Materials)

Alexey KimelState-of-the-art magnetic recording technology is amazing. 50 years ago hardly anyone believed that hard drives could ever perform so well. A modern recording medium (disc) spins with the speed of 7000 revolutions per minute, and 40 nm bits are written or read by a head which is just 5 nm above the disc. For instance, if one scales such a recording device by 1 million, so that the disc will be roughly of the size of the Netherlands and  the head will be of the size of a Boeing 747, the Boeing would need to fly 5 mm above the ground with the speed just 10 time less than the speed of light, writing and reading bits with the size of a finger.  Despite these  breathtaking developments, magnetic recording technology is still not good enough. In the 21st century's digital economy the demands for denser, faster and more energy efficient data storage will keep growing even further, the flow of data these days is so intense that heat produced by modern data centers is already a serious limitation to further increase their performance.

In my talk, I will give an overview of work we are doing to show that optical pulses facilitate conceptually new approach to magnetic data storage, which outperforms existing alternatives in terms of the speed of the write-read event and the unprecedentedly low heat load. I will discuss possible mechanisms of magnetic recording with the help of the shortest ever man-made event - femtosecond laser pulse - as well as propose ways to record magnetic bits with a spatial resolution much smaller than the wavelength of light. In short, I would like to speculate how to make magnetic recording even more amazing than it already is.

Alix McCollam