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PowerPedia:Tunnel Magnetoresistance -- the TMR Effect

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Magnetic tunnel junction (schematic)
Magnetic tunnel junction (schematic)

By Rasa Viharii
April 24, 2013; Published here May 1, 2013
for Pure Energy Systems News


The name is made of two pieces: “tunnel” and “magnetoresistance”

Tunneling is a word used in quantum mechanics to describe the behavior of atoms when they apparently can jump across some sort of a “barrier”.

Magnetoresistance is a word used to describe the property of a material to conduct electricity.

A superconductor is the name for a material which provides zero resistance to electrical current. However, in order for a material to display an efficiency greater than 100%, then that material must be displaying the magnetic tunnel effect (TMR).

Inside magnetic materials, the atoms may or may not be arranged into perfect little cubical patterns, similar to the way crystals have their atoms arranged. In particular, the way Neodymium magnets are made, the sintered materials are able to align themselves into a very perfect crystalline lattice and maintain that shape once they are initially charged up. However there are many other nanotech material which display an even better atomic lattice, hence their ability to conduct electromagnetic fields is even greater.

How can this material increase the energy? When the atomic lattice is brought into resonance, a type of quasiparticle is created called a magnon. Whenever a piece of metal is hot, it will release another type of quasiparticle called a phonon. The difference between a phonon and a magnon is that the phonon is due to the entire atomic lattice vibrating, in the magnon it is only the electrons within those atoms changing in their electron spin.

When these magnons are created, electrons may quantum tunnel from one piece of magnetic material to another piece of magnetic material. This is the way the Tunnel Magnetoresistance effect works.

Now, how does this apply to solid state devices? When you send pulses into a piece of magnetic material in order to keep it resonating, the electrons within the atomic lattices of the magnet are energized by the magnon activity, and they undergo quantum tunneling. These tunneling electrons may be picked up in the back EMF voltage spikes one sees when pulsing an array of magnetic material.

Quantum tunneling is also involved in other crystal lattice structures, such as solar panels, LED’s, TEG’s, P-N Junction semiconductors, RTD’s (Resonant Tunneling Diodes), MTJ’s (Magnetic Tunnel Junctions), Bose Gas (Bose-Einstein Condensates), Carbon nanotubes, and energy devices like the Hutchison Power Crystals.

By applying doping material and growing crystal junctions, one is also setting up a situation which encourages quantum tunneling to occur more readily.

Manipulating the spin of the electrons is also the subject of Spintronics, a new field of research for the development of super fast computer memory. The atomic lattice creates a type of symmetry with perfect “domain walls”, and can utilize the “magnetic moment” at which current flow will depend on the electron spin.

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