Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New method of producing nanomagnets for information technology

Date:
January 23, 2013
Source:
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Summary:
Researchers have found a new method of producing molecular magnets. Their thin layer systems made of cobalt and an organic material could pave the way for more powerful storage media as well as faster and more energy-efficient processors for information processing.

The layer system of cobalt (bottom) and organic molecules can serve to store magnetic information that is indicated in the image by ones and zeros. The green and red arrows show the orientation of the spin.
Credit: Forschungszentrum Jülich

An international team of researchers has found a new method of producing molecular magnets. Their thin layer systems made of cobalt and an organic material could pave the way for more powerful storage media as well as faster and more energy-efficient processors for information processing.  

In order to boost the performance of computers and reduce their energy requirements, processors and storage media have become smaller and smaller over the years. However, this strategy is about to reach the limits imposed by physics. Components that are too small are unstable, making them unsuitable for secure data storage and processing. One reason is that even one atom more or less can change the physical properties of electronic device components significantly that consist of only a few atoms. However, the exact number and arrangement of atoms can hardly be controlled in metals and semiconductors -- the materials that these components are made of today.

One way out of this dilemma could be so-called "molecular electronics," with nanometre-scale components made up of molecules. Molecules consist of a fixed number of atoms, can be designed specifically for various purposes, and can be produced cost-effectively in an identical form over and over again. If the magnetic moment of the electron -- the "spin" -- is also exploited in addition to its electric charge, it looks as though it may even be possible to implement entirely new functionalities, such as non-volatile RAM or quantum computers.

Molecules for such "molecular spintronics" must have specific magnetic properties. However, these properties are very sensitive and, so far, frequently become lost if the molecules are attached to inorganic materials, which are required for conducting electric current. This is why a team of researchers from Forschungszentrum Jülich, the University of Göttingen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the USA, Ruđer Bošković Institute in Croatia and IISER Kolkata in India pursued a new strategy exploiting the unavoidable interactions between the molecules and their substrate in a targeted manner to produce a hybrid layer that exhibits molecular magnetism and has the desired properties.

The researchers grew a thin film of zinc methyl phenalenyl, or ZMP for short, a small metalorganic molecule which in itself is not magnetic, on a magnetic layer of cobalt. They showed that ZMP forms a magnetic "sandwich" only in combination with the cobalt surface and that it can be selectively switched back and forth between two magnetic states using magnetic fields. In this process, the electrical resistance of the layer system changes by more than 20 %. In order to produce these "magnetoresistive" effects necessary to store, process, and measure data in molecular systems, researchers often required temperatures well below -200 °C.

"Our system is highly magnetoresistive at a comparatively high temperature of -20 °C. This is a considerable step forward on the way to developing molecular data storage and logic elements that work at room temperature," says Jülich scientist Dr. Nicolae Atodiresei, a theoretical physicist at the Peter Grünberg Institute and the Institute for Advanced Simulation. He and his Jülich colleagues played a major role in developing a physical model that explains the properties of this material with the help of calculations on supercomputers at Forschungszentrum Jülich.

"We now know that it is necessary for the molecule to be practically flat," says Atodiresei. "Two molecules then form a stack and attach themselves closely to the cobalt surface. The cobalt and the lower molecule then form the magnetic sandwich, while the upper molecule serves as a 'spin filter' and allows primarily those electrons to pass whose spin is suitably oriented." The orientation can be controlled by means of a magnetic field, for example. On the basis of their findings, the researchers are now planning to further optimize their sandwich system and modify it in such a way that the filter effect can also be controlled by electrical fields or light pulses.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Karthik V. Raman, Alexander M. Kamerbeek, Arup Mukherjee, Nicolae Atodiresei, Tamal K. Sen, Predrag Lazić, Vasile Caciuc, Reent Michel, Dietmar Stalke, Swadhin K. Mandal, Stefan Blügel, Markus Münzenberg, Jagadeesh S. Moodera. Interface-engineered templates for molecular spin memory devices. Nature, 2013; 493 (7433): 509 DOI: 10.1038/nature11719

Cite This Page:

Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "New method of producing nanomagnets for information technology." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130123133618.htm>.
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. (2013, January 23). New method of producing nanomagnets for information technology. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130123133618.htm
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "New method of producing nanomagnets for information technology." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130123133618.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) — Accompanied by drumbeats, wearing costumes and carrying signs, thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of Manhattan and other cities around the world on Sunday to urge policy makers to take action on climate change. (Sept. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) — MIT researchers developed a light-based sensor that gives robots 100 times the sensitivity of a human finger, allowing for "unprecedented dexterity." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The MIT BioSuit could be an alternative to big, bulky traditional spacesuits, but the concept needs some work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) — Jars, bottles, caps and even a pizza box, recovered from the trash, were the elements used by four musical groups at the "RSFEST2014 Sonorities Recycling Festival", in Colombian city of Cali. Duration: 00:49 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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