Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Molecular magnets swirl together

20.10.2014

Efficient transfer of information with organic molecules and skyrmions

On the quest for novel solutions for future information technology, scientists from the University of Hamburg and the Forschungszentrum Jülich managed to couple molecular magnets through a lattice of magnetic skyrmions – a whirl in the magnetization of special materials – and to transfer digital infor-mation over large distances. Using the magnetization to store and transfer information outperforms current electronic components due to greatly reduced power consumption while largely enhancing processing speed.


An illustration of molecular magnets embedded in a skyrmion lattice.

J. Brede, research group of Prof. R. Wiesendanger, University of Hamburg

The innovations in information technology are still happening at a tearing pace but in particular in the mobile sector conventional semiconductor technology will reach its limits soon. Therefore the quest for novel and efficient methods to store, transport, and manipulate data at an ultimately small scale is cur-rently a vibrant field of research.

A particularly promising approach is the field of “nano-spintronics”, where the “spin” rather than the charge of the electron is utilized. In a simplified picture the spin of the electron can be understood as the rotation of the electron about its axis. In 2011, physicists from Hamburg University demonstrated a spintronic-logic gate built up of individual magnetic atoms and nano-islands. However, a severe limitation of the realized logic gate was the operating temperature close to absolute zero (-273°C).

Consequently, a way to realize more stable structures capable of operation at higher temperatures was searched for. A promising template was the magnetic skyrmion lattice which was discovered in Hamburg in 2011. The magnetic skyrmions can be pictured as whirls in a “sea” of atomic magnets; the skyrmion magnetization “swirls” by 360° from the edge to the center.

The blessing of the skyrmion lattice – its inherent stability against external perturbations – is also its curse, how to utilize such a robust structure for information processing?

To overcome this obstacle the scientists deposited cost-efficient and readily prepared organic molecules on an iron film of one atomic layer thickness on an iridium substrate. The molecules bond the underlying iron atoms together to form well-defined molecular magnets which are embedded within the skyrmion lattice.

In the figure shown below, the digital information contained within the molecular magnets – the magnetization points either up (red=1) or down (green=0) - is visualized and another advantage of the fabrication method becomes apparent: it is possible to tailor magnets by choosing the appropriate size of the organic molecule, i.e. “larger” molecules make stronger magnets.

While the approach to employ cost-efficient molecules to create tailored magnets holds promise for ap-plication in data storage in itself it is another observation that fascinated the physicists in particular. The scientists noticed that the molecular magnets could be coupled through the skyrmion lattice: When one of the molecular magnets was flipped by applying an external magnetic field, another molecular magnet, situated several nanometers away, flipped as well, the information “swirling” through the skyrmion lat-tice.

Utilizing this method information can be transferred over long distances save, fast, and energy-efficient since there is no need for a flow of electrons. Extending this approach further and coupling multiple mo-lecular magnets in appropriate ways, more complex structures such as ultra-small logic-gates can be envi-sioned.

Another benefit of using the magnetization for computation is the non-volatile nature of the in-formation which becomes clear after restarting a device: it is possible to continue right where one left off. The long and tedious process of booting the electronic device becomes obsolete.

Original publication:

Long-range magnetic coupling between nanoscale organic–metal hybrids mediated by a nanoskyrmion lattice
J. Brede, N. Atodiresei, V. Caciuc, M. Bazarnik, A. Al-Zubi, S. Blügel, and R. Wiesendanger,
Nature Nanotechology (2014) .
DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2014.235

Additional Information:
Prof. Dr. Roland Wiesendanger
Sonderforschungsbereich 668
Universität Hamburg
Jungiusstr. 11a, 20355 Hamburg
Tel.: (0 40) 4 28 38 - 52 44
Fax: (0 40) 4 28 38 - 24 09
E-Mail: wiesendanger@physnet.uni-hamburg.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.sfb668.de
http://www.nanoscience.de

Heiko Fuchs | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Molecule flash mob
19.01.2017 | Technische Universität Wien

nachricht Magnetic moment of a single antiproton determined with greatest precision ever
19.01.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland

19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Not of Divided Mind

19.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Molecule flash mob

19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>