Spin Torsion Oscillator

Spin Torsion Oscillator
This scanning electron micrograph shows a nanomechanical torsion oscillator used by computer engineers to measure extremely small amounts of torque. A nanomechanical torsion oscillator is used to measure extremely small torsion or twisting forces smaller than those created by the untwisting of a strand of DNA. When current passes from magnetic into non-magnetic materials, the directional spins of the electrons flip at the boundary, producing a mechanical torque. This device can measure the torque in a metallic nanowire with unprecedented sensitivity. This approach to measuring torque has applications in spintronics as well as in fundamental physics, chemistry, and biology, and is particularly important in the hard disc industry.

Minimum credit: 

Raj Mohanty, Boston University


The nanowire at the center of this image has a diameter of about 80 nm.


This image was created by another institution, not the NISE Network. This image is available to NISE Network member organizations for non-profit educational use only. Uses may include but are not limited to reproduction and distribution of copies, creation of derivative works, and combination with other assets to create exhibitions, programs, publications, research, and Web sites. Minimum credit required.

Return to gallery