Navigation Links
Nature: Single-atom bit forms smallest memory in the world
Date:11/18/2013

This news release is available in German.

One atom equals one bit: According to this design principle, we would like to construct magnetic data memories in the future. Presently, a compound of several million atoms is needed to stabilize a magnetic bit in a way that hard disk data are secure for several years. However, researchers from KIT have just made a big step towards a single-atom bit: They fixed a single atom on a surface such that the magnetic spin remained stable for ten minutes. Their report is published in the current issue of the Nature magazine (DOI 10.1038/nature12759).

"Often, a single atom fixed to a substrate is so sensitive that its magnetic orientation is stable for fractions of a microsecond (200 nanoseconds) only," Wulf Wulfhekel from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) explains. Together with colleagues from Halle, he has now succeeded in extending this period by a factor of about a billion to several minutes. "This does not only open up the possibility of designing more compact computer memories, but could also be the basis for the setup of quantum computers," Wulfhekel says. Quantum computers are based on quantum physics properties of atomic systems. In theory at least, their speed might exceed that of classical computers by several factors.

In their experiment, the researchers placed a single holmium atom onto a platinum substrate. At temperatures close to absolute zero, i.e. at about 1 degree Kelvin, they measured the magnetic orientation of the atom using the fine tip of a scanning tunneling microscope. The magnetic spin changed after about 10 minutes only. "Hence, the magnetic spin of the system is stable for a period that is about a billion times longer than that of comparable atomic systems," Wulfhekel emphasizes. For the experiment, a novel scanning tunneling microscope of KIT was applied. Thanks to its special cooling system for the temperature range close to absolute zero, it is nearly vibration-free and allows for long measurement times.

"To stabilize the magnetic moment for longer periods of time, we suppressed the impact of the surroundings on the atom," Arthur Ernst from the Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics explains. He performed theoretical calculations for the experiment. Normally, the electrons of the substrate and of the atom interact quantum-mechanically and destabilize the spin of the atom within microseconds or even faster. When using holmium and platinum at low temperatures, disturbing interactions are excluded due to the symmetry properties of the quantum system. "In principle, holmium and platinum are invisible to each other as far as spin scattering is concerned," Ernst says. Now, the holmium spin might be adjusted and information might be written by means of external magnetic fields. This would be the prerequisite for the development of compact data memories or quantum computers.


'/>"/>

Contact: Monika Landgraf
presse@kit.edu
49-721-608-47414
Helmholtz Association
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology technology :

1. Nature: Smallest vibration sensor in the quantum world
2. Nature: Electronic read-out of quantum bits
3. Single-atom writer a landmark for quantum computing
4. Sanofi Forms Partnership with UMass Boston with $1 Million Support of Student Success Program for STEM Education
5. Accelrys Transforms Innovation by Bridging Cheminformatics and Bioinformatics
6. Rational Design of Modified Release Dosage Forms: From Pharmacokinetic Targets Through Technology Selection, new life science webinar hosted by Xtalks
7. 4-Sided Prism Billboard Patent Outperforms Tri-Vision, Patent Auction Set For July by IpAuctions, Inc.
8. Patheon-Sponsored Event to Highlight “Product Enhancement Through Complex Dosage Forms: Adding Value to Products’ Lifecycle Management”
9. Winding River Productions Announces High-End Studio Enhancements Including SCORM-Compliant e-Learning Media Development and On-Location Data and Media Capture Platforms
10. Society for Women’s Health Research IMAGINES IT -- SWHR’s Annual Gala Imagines the Future: Information Technology (IT) Transforms Women’s Healthcare
11. Scripps Research Institute Scientists Find Antibody that Transforms Bone Marrow Stem Cells Directly into Brain Cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Nature: Single-atom bit forms smallest memory in the world
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... (Yeast and Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. , ... tests introduced last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and Industrial ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... announced the launch of the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, ... explore the future of how hardware projects are designed, built and brought to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Calif. , June 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, ... biological discoveries to the medical community, has closed its ... Matthew Nunez . "We have received ... with the capital we need to meet our current ... essentially provide us the runway to complete validation on ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Pleasant Prairie, WI (PRWEB) , ... June 23, ... ... sciences consultancy focused on quality, regulatory and technical consulting, provides a free ... webinar is presented on July 13, 2016 at 12pm CT at no charge. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:4/19/2016)... , UAE, April 20, 2016 ... implemented as a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for ... biometric fingerprint reader or the door interface with integration ... modern access control systems. The minimal dimensions of the ... readers into the building installations offer considerable freedom of ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients ... a new clinical standard in telehealth thanks to a ... the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely track key ... body mass index, and, when they opt in, share ... visit to a local retail location at no cost. ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... , March 23, 2016 ... erhöhter Sicherheit Gesichts- und Stimmerkennung mit Passwörtern ... (NASDAQ: MESG ), ein führender ... das Unternehmen mit SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, um erstmals ... Finanzdienstleistungsbranche, wird die Möglichkeit angeboten, im Rahmen ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):