Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Counting on neodymium: Promising candidate for information processing with magnetic molecules

Date:
September 24, 2013
Source:
Forschungszentrum Juelich
Summary:
Magnetic molecules are regarded as promising functional units for the future of information processing. Scientists have now produce particularly robust magnetic molecules that enable a direct electrical readout of magnetic information. This was made possible by selecting the rare earth metal neodymium as the central building block of the molecule.

Using the tip of a scanning tunnelling microscope (above), which is only a few atoms in size, the researchers conducted electric current through a magnetic double-decker molecule placed on a copper layer. A neodymium atom (red) is located at the centre of the molecule.
Credit: Forschungszentrum Jülich

Magnetic molecules are regarded as promising functional units for the future of information processing. An interdisciplinary team of researchers from Jülich and Aachen were the first to produce particularly robust magnetic molecules that enable a direct electrical readout of magnetic information. This was made possible by selecting the rare earth metal neodymium as the central building block of the molecule.

Related Articles


The team's research findings were published online today in the journal Nature Communications.

The miniaturization of processors is approaching the limits of what is physically possible. At the same time, the global energy consumption by information and communications technologies is increasing continuously, requiring new approaches to handle the growing volume of data. Magnetic molecules provide a solution to this problem. They could take the place of conventional electronic components, such as diodes or transistors. In contrast to these components, however, they can be controlled with minimal voltage -- which drastically reduces energy consumption -- and have much more sophisticated switching functions that depend on the magnetism of the molecules.

Magnetic molecules act as tiny magnets and are able to process information in the form of electrical signals. They always have the same number of atoms, can be designed specifically for various functions, and can be produced cost-effectively in an identical form over and over again. In order to use this 'molecular spintronics' in technical applications, the magnetic structure of the molecules must be effectively shielded from environmental influences, but at the same time, it must be accessible to electric current.

"You could say that electric current and magnetism have to communicate with each other," says Dr. Daniel Bürgler from Forschungszentrum Jülich and the Jülich Aachen Research Alliance. The physicist's team, located in Jülich and Aachen, has produced a molecule that fulfils these requirements: "In neodymium phthalocyanine, the same electrons that give rise to magnetism are also involved in electronic transport," explains Bürgler. The researchers were able to demonstrate this by comparing simulated data to experimental values.

The metal neodymium is a rare earth metal. Molecules comprising rare earth atoms and phthalocyanines, which can be found in nature in the form of leaf pigments, are considered particularly stable and shield the magnetic state of the central rare earth atoms very effectively. However, electrical readout of the magnetic state directly from these molecules had failed in the past. Due to the electrical contacting of these molecules, the electric current was hardly influenced by the magnetic structure.

In order to identify a suitable rare earth atom, the researchers first analysed the distribution of the electrons flying about the atoms like a cloud. Only some of the electrons produce the magnetic structure. These must be situated sufficiently deep within the electron cloud to be unaffected by environmental influences. At the same time, they must not be located so deep as to prevent interaction with the electrons conducting electric current. Neodymium fulfils these requirements, because it is more lightweight than other lanthanides and its electrons are distributed within a larger cloud.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Sarah Fahrendorf, Nicolae Atodiresei, Claire Besson, Vasile Caciuc, Frank Matthes, Stefan Blügel, Paul Kögerler, Daniel E. Bürgler, Claus M. Schneider. Accessing 4f-states in single-molecule spintronics. Nature Communications, 2013; 4 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3425

Cite This Page:

Forschungszentrum Juelich. "Counting on neodymium: Promising candidate for information processing with magnetic molecules." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130924091313.htm>.
Forschungszentrum Juelich. (2013, September 24). Counting on neodymium: Promising candidate for information processing with magnetic molecules. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130924091313.htm
Forschungszentrum Juelich. "Counting on neodymium: Promising candidate for information processing with magnetic molecules." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130924091313.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Jaguar Land Rover Opens $800 Million Factory in Britain

Jaguar Land Rover Opens $800 Million Factory in Britain

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) — British luxury car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover opened a $800 million engine manufacturing centre in western England, creating 1,400 jobs. Duration: 00:45 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
SkyCruiser Concept Claims to Solve Problem With Flying Cars

SkyCruiser Concept Claims to Solve Problem With Flying Cars

Buzz60 (Oct. 30, 2014) — A start-up company called Krossblade says its SkyCruiser concept flying car solves the problem with most flying car concepts. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) — A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots Get Funky on the Dance Floor

Robots Get Funky on the Dance Floor

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) — Dancing, spinning and fighting robots are showing off their agility at "Robocomp" in Krakow. (Oct. 29) 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