Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have mapped magnetic fields in three dimensions, an important step towards identifying the three-dimensional magnetic configuration in magnetic materials. The work is of great importance for improving diagnostic imaging and storage capacity.

A study recently published in the journal Nature Materials presents the results of a three-year high-performance numerical simulation that maps the three-dimensional structure of a 100-nanometer magnetic tetrahedron sample using three electron beam projection angles. Jiadong Tsang, assistant professor of physics who led the study, cited CT scans as an example: instead of sending out multiple X-rays to map body tissues, the same images can be obtained with just three.

“The number three really represents a breakthrough in this area. Our brain is a three-dimensional object. The irony is that all our devices are two-dimensional. They are inefficient compared to our brains,” Tsang said.

Reduction of electron beam exposure in fast 3D magnetic imaging is one possible application of this research. The scientists’ conclusions are also important for increasing the memory capacity of magnetic memory devices, the circuits of which are now placed on two-dimensional panels, the density of which is approaching maximum values. In addition, the method proposed by this study will be a useful tool for detecting and characterizing 3D magnetic circuits.

The theoretical analysis of the study was carried out by Jiadong Tsang together with his colleague Alexander Bout, and researchers from Japan and the University of Wisconsin (USA) were directly involved in physical experiments.