Whereas conventional electronic devices depend on the movement of electrons and their charge, spintronics works with changes in magnetic orientation caused by changes in electron spin (imagine electrons as tiny bar magnets whose poles are rotated up and down).
Already used in read-heads for computer hard disks, spintronics can offer more desirable properties--higher speeds, smaller size--than conventional electronics. Spintronic devices usually are made of inorganic materials. The use of organic molecules may be preferable, because electron spins can be preserved for longer time periods and distances, and because these molecules can be easily manipulated and self-assembled. However, until now, there has been no experimental confirmation of the presence of molecules in a spintronic structure. The new NIST results are expected to assist in the development of practical molecular spintronic devices.
The experiments, described in the October 9 issue of Applied Physics Letters,* used a specially designed nanoscale "pore" in a silicon wafer. A one-molecule-thick layer of self-assembled molecules containing carbon, hydrogen and sulfur was sandwiched in the pore, between nickel and cobalt electrodes. The researchers applied an electric current to the device and measured the voltage levels produced as electrons "tunneled" through the molecules from the cobalt to the nickel electrodes. (Tunneling, observed only at nanometer and atomic dimensions, occurs when electrons exhibit wave-like properties, which permit them to penetrate barriers.)
The pore structure stabilized and confined the test molecules and enabled good molecule-metal contacts, allowing the scientists to measure accurately temperature-dependent behavior in the current and voltage that confirm electron tunneling through the molecular monolayer. Some electrons can lose energy while tunneling, which corresponds to vibration energies unique to the chemical bonds within the molecules. The NIST team used this information to identify and unambiguously confirm that the assembled molecules remain encapsulated in the pore and are playing a role in the device operation. In addition, by varying the magnetic field applied to the device and measuring the electrical resistance, the researchers identified magnetic switching in the electrodes from matching to opposite polarities.
Laura Ost | EurekAlert!
Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond
23.11.2017 | The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Quantum optics allows us to abandon expensive lasers in spectroscopy
22.11.2017 | Lomonosov Moscow State University
Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
23.11.2017 | Information Technology
23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.11.2017 | Life Sciences