Heusler Alloy Replacement for Iridium (HARFIR) in Magnetic Storage Devices

Researchers from Europe and Japan led by University of York are into €4.6 million project to develop new materials to replace barely available Iridium in magnetic storage devices. This project is being funded by the European Commission and Japanese Science Technology Agency.

As a matter of fact, almost all spinning electronic devices, including HDDs and magnetic tapes use Iridium alloy. But due to its non-availability in abundance and increasing use in new technologies, the price of Iridium is soaring sharply.

The research team, working on the collaborative project, is assigned with a task to come up with a replacement to the silvery-white transition metal which belongs to platinum family. The University of York researchers are in a process to develop Heusler alloy films as a replacement to Iridium and have achieved success to a major extent on this note.

The project is being scientifically coordinated under the supervision of Dr. Atsufumi Hirohata, from University of York’s department of Electronics. In a recent media interaction, Dr. Atsufumi stated “It is widely recognized that spin electronic technology will displace volatile Semiconductor Memory technology within the next decade. So, the lack of availability of one crucial element from within the periodic table is a critical issue to be solved”.

The European Scientists will be working closely with a Japanese research team led by Professor Koki Takanashi from TohokuUniversity and will find new compositions of Heusler Alloys to replace the need for Iridium in spin electronic devices.

The Heusler Alloy Replacement for Iridium (HARFIR) project has so far received €1.8m in EU funding, along with a matching figure from JST, under the strategic international collaborative research program called Development of New Materials for the Substitution of Critical Metals launched by the EC and the JST. All the funding will be used for research activities such as intensive exchange and training of researchers on this project.

More details are awaited!

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