Nanotechnologists could have a firmer handle on the forces at play in their microscopic world thanks to recent physics research at Purdue University.
The latest in a series of experiments aimed at revealing fundamental knowledge of the universe has yielded precise measurement of the so-called Casimir force – a force that could make tiny machines behave erratically, causing a thorn in the side of nanotechnology manufacturers. A team, including Purdue physicist Ephraim Fischbach, has answered sciences questions about the Casimir forces effects, which could help manufacturers work around the problem.
"The Casimir force is not a new discovery, but its effects on machines are essentially negligible until you start building at the nanoscale," said Fischbach, a professor in Purdues School of Science. "Now that nanotechnology is pervading industry, it will be important for us to understand how this force can hinder – or help – in our efforts to build the worlds tiniest machines."
Chad Boutin | Purdue News
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The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
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With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
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