With the help of a unique magnetic microscope, scientists found a new method for imaging magnetic fields at the nanoscale. Their discovery could help fundamental and industrial research in the emerging field of spintronics.
Spin-what ? "Spintronics is another way to think about electronics," says Joo-Von Kim, a researcher at the French National Center for Scientific research (CNRS) that we interviewed along with his colleagues Vincent Jacques, Thomas Hingant et Jean-Philippe Tetienne. from Ecole Nationale Supérieur de Cachan. Following the publication of their latest article in Science, we contacted these four scientists and went all the way to Cachan (40 min train ride, lovely suburb in the Paris area) to film their cool microscope, and ask them about their research. It turned out to be even cooler than it sounded (although, "Nanoscale imaging and control of domain-wall hopping with a nitrogen-vacancy center microscope" does sound cool. Did you know walls could "hop" ? Well your boring concrete walls certainly can't but NANOMETRIC walls have much more confidence in their abilities).
With their microscope, the scientists were able to measure magnetic fields on a thin magnetic wire (a few nanometers across). Even more impressive, they could move the walls that separate the different magnetic domains on the track using the same microscope, at higher intensity, to better render the magnetic "landscape" formed by the irregularities of the material.