Efficient conversion from magnetic storage to light is key
Inexpensive computers, cell phones and other systems that substitute flexible plastic for silicon chips may be one step closer to reality, thanks to research published on April 16 in the journal Nature Communications.
The paper describes a new proposal by University of Iowa researchers and their colleagues at New York University for overcoming a major obstacle to the development of such plastic devices—the large amount of energy required to read stored information.
Although it is relatively cheap and easy to encode information in light for fiber optic transmission, storing information is most efficiently done using magnetism, which ensures information will survive for years without any additional power.
“So a critical issue is how to convert information from one type to another,” says Michael Flatté, professor of physics and astronomy in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) and director of the UI Optical Science and Technology Center.
“Although it does not cost a lot of energy to convert one to the other in ordinary, silicon-chip-based computers, the energy cost is very high for flexible, plastic computing devices that are hoped to be used for inexpensive “throwaway” information processors.
“Here we show an efficient means of converting information encoded in magnetic storage to light in a flexible plastic device,” says Flatté, who also serves as professor in the UI College of Engineering’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
What Flatté and his colleagues did was to successfully accomplish information transduction (or transfer and conversion) between a magnet and an organic light-emitting diode at room temperature and without electrical current flow between the magnet and the organic device.
“The magnetic fields from the magnetic storage device directly modify the light emission from the device. This could help solve problems of storage and communication for new types of inexpensive, low-power computers based on conducting plastics,” says professor Markus Wohlgenannt, also of the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Optical Science and Technology Center.
Professor Andrew Kent of New York University notes that while these studies were conducted on relatively large devices, miniaturized devices would operate on the same principles and enable new types of high capacity storage technologies.
In addition to Flatté, Wohlgenannt and Kent, co-authors of the Nature Communications paper are Fujian Wang and Nicolas J. Harmon of the UI Department of Physics and Astronomy and Optical Science and Technology Center, and Ferran Macià of the NYU Department of Physics.
The complete title of the paper is “Organic Magnetoelectroluminescence for Room Temperature Transduction between Magnetic and Optical Information.”
The research was funded by the U.S. Army Research Office (ARO) Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) grant #W911NF-08-1-0317 and F. Macià also by EC-MC grant IOF-253214.
Gary Galluzzo | Eurek Alert!
Computing at the Speed of Light
22.05.2015 | University of Utah
NOAA's GOES-R satellite begins environmental testing
22.05.2015 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Physicists have developed an innovative method that could enable the efficient use of nanocomponents in electronic circuits. To achieve this, they have developed a layout in which a nanocomponent is connected to two electrical conductors, which uncouple the electrical signal in a highly efficient manner. The scientists at the Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel have published their results in the scientific journal “Nature Communications” together with their colleagues from ETH Zurich.
Electronic components are becoming smaller and smaller. Components measuring just a few nanometers – the size of around ten atoms – are already being produced...
Development and implementation of an advanced automobile parking navigation platform for parking services
To fulfill the requirements of the industry, PolyU researchers developed the Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation Platform, which includes smart devices,...
The world's first electrical car and passenger ferry powered by batteries has entered service in Norway. The ferry only uses 150 kWh per route, which...
On Tuesday, 19 May 2015 the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its home port in Bremerhaven, setting a course for the Arctic. Led by Dr Ilka Peeken from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) a team of 53 researchers from 11 countries will investigate the effects of climate change in the Arctic, from the surface ice floes down to the seafloor.
RV Polarstern will enter the sea-ice zone north of Spitsbergen. Covering two shallow regions on their way to deeper waters, the scientists on board will focus...
Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego developed a gel filled with toxin-absorbing nanosponges that could lead to an effective treatment for skin and wound infections caused by MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), an antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This "nanosponge-hydrogel" minimized the growth of skin lesions on mice infected with MRSA - without the use of antibiotics. The researchers recently published their findings online in Advanced Materials.
To make the nanosponge-hydrogel, the team mixed nanosponges, which are nanoparticles that absorb dangerous toxins produced by MRSA, E. coli and other...
20.05.2015 | Event News
18.05.2015 | Event News
12.05.2015 | Event News
22.05.2015 | Materials Sciences
22.05.2015 | Information Technology
22.05.2015 | Materials Sciences