This image is an artistic visualization of the atomic and magnetic moment structure of chromia. The presence of the permanent magnet in the center of the figure, with its magnetic stray-fields acting simultaneously with electric fields on chromia, captures the idea behind spintronics. Promising spintronic device concepts use an electrically controlled interface and surface magnetization. Surfaces of magnetoelectric materials such as chromia show roughness-insensitive, electrically switchable magnetization in the presence of a small symmetry breaking magnetic field opening up exciting prospects for spintronic applications.
Credit: Christian Binek, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nebraska-Lincoln