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 learn to navigate autonomously by imitating cars and bicycles
23.01.2018 | Universität Zürich

nachricht Cloud technology: Dynamic certificates make cloud service providers more secure
15.01.2018 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Optical Nanoscope Allows Imaging of Quantum Dots

Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.

Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks Industry & Economy
Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers reveal how microbes cope in phosphorus-deficient tropical soil

23.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Opening the cavity floodgates

23.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Siberian scientists suggested a new method for synthesizing a promising magnetic material

23.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>