Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Detecting Tiny Twists With A Nanomachine

Date:
November 7, 2008
Source:
Boston University
Summary:
Scientists have developed a nanoscale spin-torsion oscillator that can measure miniscule amounts of twisting or torque in a metallic nanowire. The device can be used to uncover spin-dependent fundamental forces in particle physics and have applications in spintronics, chemistry, biology and fundamental physics.

Researchers at Boston University working with collaborators in Germany, France and Korea have developed a nanoscale torsion resonator that measures miniscule amounts of twisting or torque in a metallic nanowire. This device, the size of a speck of dust, might enable measurements of the untwisting of DNA and have applications in spintronics, fundamental physics, chemistry and biology.

Related Articles


Spin-induced torque is central to understanding experiments, from the measurement of angular momentum of photons to the measurement of the gyromagnetic factor of metals and a very miniaturized – about 6 microns -- version of a gyroscope that measures the torques produced by electrons changing their spin states. It can be used to uncover new spin-dependent fundamental forces in particle physics, according to Raj Mohanty, Boston University Associate Professor of Physics.

"This is perhaps the most sensitive torque measurement every reported," said Mohanty. "The size of the torque measured by this experiment is smaller than the typical torque produced by the untwisting of a doubly-stranded DNA."

In a just released paper in Nature Nanotechnology entitled "Nanomechanical detection of itinerant electron spin flip," Mohanty and his research team developed a highly sensitive way to directly measure torque using microelectronic mechanical systems with spin electronics. Their approach was to detect and control spin-flip torque -- a phenomenon that occurs in a metallic nanowire, that is half ferromagnetic and the other is nonmagnetic. The spins of itinerant electrons are "flipped" at the interface between the two regions to produce a torque.

The team developed a microscopic spin-torsion device fabricated by electron beam lithography and nanomachining that mechanically measures the changes in spin states in a magnetic field. This device was operated at one tenth of a degree close to absolute zero.

The team has been working on demonstrating the opposite effect. Under the application of an external torque spin-up and spin-down electrons can be separated to two physically distinct locations, creating a spin battery. This is similar to a conventional charge battery with positive and negative polarities. When connected with an electrical path, electricity flows from one side to the other. But instead of electric current, the flow in the spin battery involves the spin – which can be used to store and manipulate information, the basis of an emerging technology called spintronics.

"The measurements with a nanoscale torsion resonator will be useful in uncovering new fundamental forces and, in theory, for characterizing torque producing molecules and DNA." said Mohanty.

Mohanty's research collaborators for the paper are Guiti Zolfagharkhani, then a graduate student at Boston University's Department of Physics, Alexi Gaidarzhy then a graduate student of BU's Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Pascal Degiovanni of the Ecole Normale Superieure and Universite de Lyon in France, Stefan Kettemann of Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany and Peter Fulde at the Asia Pacific Center for Theoretical Physics in Namgu Pohang, Korea.

The research was supported by National Science Foundation


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Boston University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Boston University. "Detecting Tiny Twists With A Nanomachine." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081102134637.htm>.
Boston University. (2008, November 7). Detecting Tiny Twists With A Nanomachine. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081102134637.htm
Boston University. "Detecting Tiny Twists With A Nanomachine." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081102134637.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Inspectors Found Faulty Work Before NYC Blast

Inspectors Found Faulty Work Before NYC Blast

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) An hour before an apparent gas explosion sent flames soaring and debris flying at a Manhattan apartment building, injuring 19 people, utility company inspectors decided the work being done there was faulty. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Facebook Building Plane-Sized Drones For Global Internet

Facebook Building Plane-Sized Drones For Global Internet

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) Facebook on Thursday revealed more details about its Internet-connected drone project. The drone is bigger than a 737, but lighter than a car. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Returns from International Space Station and Sets Two Guinness World Records

Robot Returns from International Space Station and Sets Two Guinness World Records

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 27, 2015) The companion robot "Kirobo" returns to earth from the International Space Station and sets two Guinness World Records. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Witness Building Explosion, Collapse

Residents Witness Building Explosion, Collapse

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) Witnesses recount the sites and sounds of a massive explosion and subsequent building collapse in the heart of Manhattan&apos;s trendy East Village on Thursday. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins