PhD with distinction for ‘racing data’ in computer memories

Physicist Jeroen Franken graduated with a PhD with distinction. Franken presented his thesis on ‘racetrack memory’ – computer memory in which the data itself flows past a magnetic head used for reading.

Franken carried out his research in the Physics of Nanostructures at the Applied Physics department at the University of Technology Eindhoven, TU/e.

‘Racing data’ storage takes place in a magnetic domain using stationary read/write heads. This technology allows faster memories to be made, and has higher storage densities than in conventional hard disks. In addition, these memories are also less subject to wear because they contain no moving parts, and they use power which means longer battery lifetime.

Franken investigated how the magnetic domains can be made to travel through the nanowire. Normally, the bits in a magnetic material tend to spread outwards in opposite directions, so they cancel each other out when a magnetic field is applied to them. Using magnetic fields Franken was able to make all the magnetic domains move in the same direction.

Jeroen Franken who has written fifteen scientific journals was supervised by Prof. Dr. Bert Koopmans and Prof. Dr. Ir. Henk Swagten at TU/e.

Photo: Arne Olivier/ Photodette

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