• June 2012
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Spin Spirals for Computers of the Future

  Julich Research Center (05/07/12) Angela Wenzik

 Researchers from Julich, Hamburg, and Kiel have demonstrated how magnetic moments in chains of iron atoms could allow information to be transported at the nanoscale in a fast and energy-efficient manner over a wide range of temperatures, while remaining mostly unaffected by external magnetic fields.  “To the best of our knowledge, it is a completely new concept for data transport on this scale,” says Julich Research Center professor Stefan Blugel.  “Because the system is extremely stable and allows information to be transferred in a fast and energy-efficient manner, we believe it is an extremely promising option for future applications.”  The researchers call the spiral arrangement of the magnetic properties in chains of iron atoms “spin spirals,” which were placed in twin rows on an iridium surface for the experiments.  “What is particularly interesting, is the fact that the spin of the atomic screw, which we refer to as chirality in the jargon, is very stable–even at relatively warm temperatures,” Blugel says.  The researchers now plan to study whether the system is stable at higher temperatures, up to and including room temperature.

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