A research group led by Associate Professor Satoshi Nakatsuji of the University of Tokyo has succeeded in changing from an insulator to a metal by applying a weak magnetic field to a magnetic material made of niobium and iridium.New storage devices and magnetic sensors may be realized using this technology.

 Ordinary substances do not change to a metal-like state that conducts electricity from an insulator due to changes in temperature or magnetic field.Such a phenomenon has been confirmed in some substances, but for that purpose, it is necessary to heat to a high temperature to change the arrangement of atoms inside, which requires a large amount of time and energy.On the other hand, in this research, when a magnetic field is applied to a substance made of niobium, which is a rare earth element, iridium, which is a transition metal element, and oxygen, it acts on the movement of electrons inside the atom from the insulator. I discovered that it turns into metal.

 This proved that the combination of rare earths and transition metals makes it possible to change from an insulator to a metal by a magnetic field, which was previously thought to be impossible.Compared to the conventional method of heating to a high temperature, the magnetic field can be turned on and off at a very high speed and with less energy.It is expected that this can be used to create a memory that records "0" and "1" of digital information and a magnetic sensor that sends an electric signal by detecting a magnetic field.

 In addition to the possibilities of industrial application, the impact of realizing what was previously thought to be impossible is enormous.The nature of solids is an area where a great deal of research is concentrated, both domestically and internationally.Research on phenomena that could not be realized with already known compounds will continue to progress.

Tokyo University

Established in the 10th year of the Meiji era.A university with the longest history in Japan and at the forefront of Japanese knowledge

The University of Tokyo was established in 1877 (Meiji 10) by integrating the Tokyo Kaisei School and the Tokyo Medical School.Since its establishment, it has developed education and research in a unique way in the world as a leading university in Japan and an academic center for the fusion of East and West cultures.As a result, many human resources have been produced in a wide range of fields, and many research achievements […]

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