Tool to Predict Interaction of Electromagnetic Waves and Magnetic Material


Computational tool to design radio based frequency components to transfer a huge amount of data rapidly

UCLA Samueli engineers have developed a new tool to model how magnetic materials, used in communications devices interact with incoming radio signals that carry data. It predicts these interactions down to the nanometer scales required to build state-of-the-art communications technologies.

The tool allow engineers to design a new class of radio frequency-based components that are able to transport a large amount of data rapidly with less noise interference. Future use cases include smartphones to implantable health monitoring devices.

Magnetic material acts like a gatekeeper

Magnetic materials can attract or repel each other based on their polar orientation where positive and negative ends attract each other while two positives or two negatives repel. When an electromagnetic signal like a radio wave passes through such materials then that magnetic material acts like a gatekeeper. It will let in the signals that are desired but will keep out others. They can also amplify the signal or dampen the speed and strength of the signal.

Engineers have used these gatekeeper-like effects, called wave-material interactions, to make devices used in communications technologies for decades. For example, these include circulators that send signals in specific directions or frequency-selective limiters that reduce noise by suppressing the strength of unwanted signals.

New computational tool expected to give electronics designers a clear path toward figuring out how potential materials would be best used in communications devices. Plug in the characteristics of the wave and the magnetic material, users can easily model nanoscale effects. It is also predicted that this set of a model is the first to incorporate all the critical physics necessary to predict dynamic behaviour.

Moreover, the team is working to improve the tool to account for multiple types of magnetic and non-magnetic materials. These improvements could lead it to become a universal solver where it will be able to account for any type of electromagnetic wave interacting with any type of material.