Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Creation and measurement of long-lived magnetic monopole currents in spin ice

Giblin, S.R.; Bramwell, S.T.; Holdsworth, P.C.W.; Prabhakaran, D.; Terry, I.


S.R. Giblin

S.T. Bramwell

P.C.W. Holdsworth

D. Prabhakaran


The recent discovery of ‘magnetricity’ in spin ice raises the question of whether long-lived currents of magnetic ‘monopoles’ can be created and manipulated by applying magnetic fields. Here we show that they can. By applying a magnetic-field pulse to a Dy2Ti2O7 spin-ice crystal at 0.36 K, we create a relaxing magnetic current that lasts for several minutes. We measure the current by means of the electromotive force it induces in a solenoid coupled to a sensitive amplifier, and quantitatively describe it using a chemical kinetic model of point-like charges obeying the Onsager–Wien mechanism of carrier dissociation and recombination. We thus derive the microscopic parameters of monopole motion in spin ice and identify the distinct roles of free and bound magnetic charges. Our results illustrate a basic capacitor effect for magnetic charge and should pave the way for the design and realization of ‘magnetronic’ circuitry.


Giblin, S., Bramwell, S., Holdsworth, P., Prabhakaran, D., & Terry, I. (2011). Creation and measurement of long-lived magnetic monopole currents in spin ice. Nature Physics, 7(3), 252-258.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Mar 1, 2011
Deposit Date Jul 18, 2011
Journal Nature Physics
Print ISSN 1745-2473
Electronic ISSN 1745-2481
Publisher Nature Research
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 3
Pages 252-258
Keywords Condensed matter physics, Materials physics.
Publisher URL