Traditional silicon chips in computers and other electronic devices control the flow of electrical current by modifying the positive or negative charge of different parts of each tiny circuit. However it is also possible to use of the mysterious magnetic properties of electrons - know as “spin” - to control the movement of currents. Many large companies have spent millions of dollars trying to solve some of the problems faced by this technology, but progress has remained slow. Discoveries made in Oxford solve several of the most difficult problems and open up this exciting new world of possibilities.
Central to the success of modern electronics is the transistor. A transistor is a switch that controls the flow of electrical current. A modern computer chip contains many millions of tiny transistors; each acting as a tiny switch where a small current is used to control the flow of a larger current.
A spin transistor uses the spin properties of the electrons within it, to control the flow of a current. The big advantage of this approach is that the spin (or magnetic state) of a transistor can be set and then will not change, so unlike a normal electrical circuit that requires a continuous supply of power, a spin transistor remains in the same magnetic state even when power is removed! Producing a spin transistor that can be included in a modern silicon chip is a significant challenge, but scientists at Oxford have developed a spin transistor that works up to 1,000 times better than previous designs making this a real possibility!
Kim Evans | alfa
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The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
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Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
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