Saturday, April 07, 2012

Nano Honecombs coming to Rescue...!!!

I have always found it very frustrating how I have to wait for the processing to finish. But now scientists have developed a new material using nano-sized magnets that could ultimately lead to new types of electronic devices, with greater processing capacity than is currently feasible, taking leap to an entirely new type of Computer processing.
Data storage devices, like hard disk drives, today rely on the ability to manipulate the properties of tiny individual magnetic sections, but their overall design is limited by the way these magnetic 'domains' interact when they are close together. Now, researchers from the Imperial College of London have demonstrated that a honeycomb pattern of nano-sized magnets, in a material known as spin ice, introduces competition between neighboring magnets, and hence it reduces the problems caused by these interactions. They have proven that large arrays of these nano-magnets can store computable information. These arrays can then be read by measuring their electrical resistance.

The scientists have so far been able to 'read' and 'write' patterns in the magnetic fields, at the moment, they are working with the magnets at temperatures below minus 223°C, bt they are trying to bring the temperature up to the room temperature.

Dr Will Branford and his team who have been investigating the matter found that at low temperatures (below minus 223oC) the magnetic bits act in a collective manner and arrange themselves into patterns. The key challenge now is to develop a way to utilize these patterns to perform calculations, and most importantly to do so at room temperature.

Only if these problems were tackled successfully, new technology using magnetic honeycombs might be available in ten to fifteen years.
In experiments, an electrical current was applied across a continuous honeycomb mesh, made from cobalt magnetic bars each 1 micrometer long and 100 nanometres wide, and covering an area 100 square micrometers . It was found that only a single unit of the honeycomb mesh is like three bar magnets meeting in the center of a triangle. There is no way to arrange them without having either two north poles or two south poles either touching or repelling each other, this is termed as 'frustrated' magnetic system.

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