The PCB Design Magazine

PCBD-Apr2017

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36 The PCB Design Magazine • April 2017 BRUCE MAHLER DISCUSSES OHMEGA'S RESISTIVE MATERIAL TECHNOLOGY A team of scientists led by As- sociate Professor Yang Hyunsoo from the National University of Singapore's (NUS) Faculty of En- gineering has invented a novel ultra-thin multilayer film which could harness the properties of tiny magnetic whirls, known as skyrmions, as information carri- ers for storing and processing data on magnetic media. The nano-sized thin film, which was devel- oped in collaboration with researchers from Brookhaven National Laboratory, Stony Brook University, and Louisiana State University, is a critical step towards the design of data storage devices that use less power and work faster than existing memory technologies. The digital transformation has resulted in ever-increasing demands for better processing and storing of large amounts of data, as well as improvements in hard drive technology. Since their discovery in magnetic materials in 2009, skyrmions, which are tiny swirl- ing magnetic textures only a few nanometres in size, have been extensively studied as possible information carriers in next-gen- eration data storage and logic devices. The NUS team, which also comprises Dr. Shawn Pollard and Yu Jiawei from the NUS Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, found that a large DMI could be maintained in multilayer films composed of cobalt and palladium, and this is large enough to stabilise skyrmion spin textures. In order to image the magnetic structure of these films, the NUS researchers, in collabora- tion with Brookhaven National Laboratory in the United States, employed Lorentz transmission electron microscopy (L-TEM). L-TEM has the ability to image magnetic structures below 10 nanometres, but it has not been used to observe skyrmions in multilayer geometries previously as it was predicted to exhibit zero signal. Ultra-Thin Multilayer Film for Next-Generation Data Storage and Processing electric constants you want materials that have good thermal characteristics and can withstand high temperatures, high operating tempera- tures, but also can thermally conduct heat away from resistive elements or heater elements in particular, and place it where they want to place it on a board. Shaughnessy: Your products have to play nice, ba- sically, with all these various dielectrics. Mahler: Yes, we're independent of the dielec- tric. We make the resistive foil. We sell the prod- uct to the laminators out there who bond it to their dielectric, or we work with many of them on a subcontract basis. Our focus is making the best resistive product we can possibly make and offer to the industry, and essentially let those laminators, the experts in dielectric materials, develop the kind of polymers and the kind of substrates that the industry is asking for and then working hand-in-hand with the lamina- tors offer a solution to the end user that com- bines the best of both worlds—the best resistive material coupled with the optimum dielectric material. That's what we're doing. Again, 40 years we've been doing this and what's exciting is we see the future as being brighter than ever—the Internet of Things, new sensor technology, automotive applications, the avionic applications, growth of sensor tech- nologies, at-home devices, wearable devices and so on. We're involved with so many things that are so exciting, and we just can't wait to see how things develop over the next few years. Shaughnessy: Congratulations. Well, Bruce, that's very exciting and I wish you the best. Thanks for speaking with me. Mahler: Thanks, Andy. PCBDESIGN

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