One bit - one molecule

    Even as a ten-year-old, screwing up another hard drive with a screwdriver “asterisk” (by the way, why do they call hdd like that?), There were a lot of thoughts on how to make information recording more dense. Still not knowing at that moment about the supermagnetic effect, but already knowing that the atom was divisible, he calculated what there was a theoretical limit of the density of information when recording on a material carrier. Now that doesn't seem so funny anymore.

    About three million atoms of magnetic matter store 1 bit of information in modern hard drives. German researchers from Karlsruhe and Strasbourg, together with Japanese researchers from Chiba University, have developed a new type of memristor magnetic memory that can store one bit of information within a single molecule of a magnetic substance, the so-called molecular magnet.

    “The superparamagnetic effect prevents further reduction in the size of one bit on the surface of the hard drive plates,” said Toshio Miyamachi, a scientist at the Center for Functional Nanostructures (CFN) of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, KIT. “This superparamagnetic effect is that when crystals of a magnetic substance decrease in size, they become susceptible to the effects of heat, which causes a spontaneous switching of their magnetic state. We used a completely different approach and placed one single magnetic atom of iron in the center of an organic molecule consisting of 51 atoms. "The organic shell protects the information stored in the central iron atom from external influences."

    In addition to the incredible density of information storage equal to one bit per molecule, a new type of memory based on the effect of “spin crossover molecules” has a simple procedure for writing and reading information. Using an electric current impulse of a certain shape and size, an organic-metal magnetic molecule can be switched into a conducting, magnetic state, and into a non-conducting, non-magnetic state.

    “Using a scanning tunneling microscope, we applied an impulse with specific characteristics exactly to a molecule about a nanometer in size,” said Wulf Wulfhekel, a scientist who led the research team at KIT Physikalisches Institut. “The electrical impulse changed not only the magnetic state of the iron atom, but also the electrical properties of the molecule as a whole.”

    Thus, the two magnetic states of the iron atom lead to different electrical conductivities of the whole molecule, which can be measured quite simply by measuring electrical resistance. “These memristor and spintronic properties, realized in the framework of a single molecule, open up completely new areas for further research,” the researchers are convinced. Let me remind you that a memristor is a type of memory that stores information in the form of a change in the electrical resistance of a conductor made of special material. Spintronics uses to store and process information of the back, the moments of rotation of individual particles, atoms and molecules.

    Original Source: ! PrettyPhoto

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