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!
Protecting the power grid: Advanced plasma switch for more efficient transmission
17.08.2018 | DOE/Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab
15.08.2018 | American Institute of Physics
New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
25.07.2018 | Event News
17.08.2018 | Materials Sciences
17.08.2018 | Information Technology
17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy