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Study of tiny magnets may advance their use in microelectronics

20.10.2010
In the world of the very small, researchers at Shanxi University in China have announced progress in understanding the single-molecule magnet, which combines the classical macroscale properties of a magnet with the quantum properties of a nanoscale entity.

In the Journal of Applied Physics, Hai-Bin Xue and colleagues studied the statistics of how electrons move through a single-molecule magnet to better understand the magnet's inner level structure.

Understanding the single-molecule magnet inner level structure is an important step toward the development of revolutionary ways to store and process information, as well as quantum computation. The results are important to the field of molecular spintronics, which combines molecular electronics with the field of spintronics -- the manipulation of spin and charge.

"The single-molecule magnet can be regarded as a magnetic quantum dot with a more complex level structure," says co-author Yi-Hang Nie, "which makes it a good candidate for molecular spintronics devices."

How electrons move through single-molecule magnets is not well understood. "The current-voltage characteristics of such a system are not known well enough for practical application," says co-author Hai Bin Xue. "Our results go significantly beyond earlier studies of magnetic molecules in general, for which the current noise has been studied very little. The predictions permit experimental tests in the near future."

The article, "Tunable electron counting statistics in a single-molecule magnet," by Hai-Bin Xue, Y.-H. Nie, Z.-J. Li, and J.-Q. Liang appears in the Journal of Applied Physics. http://link.aip.org/link/japiau/v108/i3/p033707/s1

Journalists may request a free PDF of this article by contacting jbardi@aip.org

ABOUT JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS

Journal of Applied Physics is the American Institute of Physics' (AIP) archival journal for significant new results in applied physics; content is published online daily, collected into two online and printed issues per month (24 issues per year). The journal publishes articles that emphasize understanding of the physics underlying modern technology, but distinguished from technology on the one side and pure physics on the other. See: http://jap.aip.org/

ABOUT AIP

The American Institute of Physics is a federation of 10 physical science societies representing more than 135,000 scientists, engineers, and educators and is one of the world's largest publishers of scientific information in the physical sciences. Offering partnership solutions for scientific societies and for similar organizations in science and engineering, AIP is a leader in the field of electronic publishing of scholarly journals. AIP publishes 12 journals (some of which are the most highly cited in their respective fields), two magazines, including its flagship publication Physics Today; and the AIP Conference Proceedings series. Its online publishing platform Scitation hosts nearly two million articles from more than 185 scholarly journals and other publications of 28 learned society publishers.

Jason Bardi | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.aip.org

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