Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Breakthrough for the computer of tomorrow?

25.09.2003


For the first time a material now exists that is not only a semiconductor but also exhibits exploitable magnetic properties at room temperature. Researchers at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden, have taken the lead in an international race to find the technology of tomorrow.



Today’s computers process information using semiconductor chips and store it on magnetic discs. Tomorrow’s technology may mean that these parts merge into a single chip. This is based on the so-called ‘spin’ of electrons. Electron spin generates magnetic fields. Magnetism in iron and other magnetic materials comes from this phenomenon. This spin has a specific direction, and this direction can be exploited as a carrier of information, as ones and zeroes, when you have the equipment to influence and read the spin direction. This technology is believed to be capable of replacing a great deal of today’s electronics, and it is therefore called ‘spintronics.’

Researchers from around the world, both in industry and at universities, have been seeking to create the ‘spin transistor’ for a few years now. It has been created in labs, but only at extremely low temperatures. As recently as last winter, the temperature -100 C was hailed as a milestone in this research (Scientific American, March 2003).


Now a team consisting of experimentalists from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, with the aid of theoreticians from KTH and Uppsala University, have found a substance, zinc oxide with a manganese additive, that makes the spin transistor possible at room temperature, and therefore feasible for mass production.

“Our discovery is not a milestone, it’s a breakthrough,” says Professor Venkat Rao at KTH Materials Science.

What does this mean? Can controlling a spinning electron really change so much? Yes, whoever harnesses the infinitesimal controls the ballgame. It is impossible to predict precisely what practical consequences this will have in the form of new technology, but if the material withstands the test of production, there is tremendous potential for producing much smaller and faster computers, perhaps even so-called quantum computers.

The finding is a door-opener. There are myriad paths to follow. The article is being published and is one of the cover headlines in the October issue of Nature Materials.

Jacob Seth Fransson | alfa
Further information:
http://www.kth.se

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Drones can almost see in the dark
20.09.2017 | Universität Zürich

nachricht World first: 'Storing lightning inside thunder'
18.09.2017 | University of Sydney

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>