West Lafayette, Indiana - University of Notre Dame Visiting Research Assistant Professor Yong-Lei Wang and his collaborators have produced the first rewriteable, artificial “magnetic charge ice.” The research, described in a paper published May 20, 2016, in the journal Science, shows strong potential for technological applications from data storage and memory to reprogrammable magnonics to spintronics. Magnetic charge ice has potential to allow for smaller, more powerful computers in the future.

“Over the last decade or so, artificial spin ice structures have been studied intensely by several leading research groups around the world. What makes the structures invented by Prof. Wang and coworkers unique is the relative ease with which they can stabilize even the most elusive spin ice configuration. This, together with the writable nature of the magnetic charge configuration in their nanomagnet arrays leads to an unusually versatile magnetic nanomaterial,” said Boldizsar Janko, Notre Dame professor of physics and director of the Institute for Theoretical Science. “Such a material will be an essential component in several hybrid systems, and could lead to devices that allow the manipulation of electronic spin textures in dilute magnetic semiconductors, and magnetic flux quanta in superconductors.”