Thursday, December 16, 2010

#QUANTUM: "Spintronics aims for atomic memories"

Spintronics memories should store quantum information on the individual atoms, rather than electrons, according to University of Utah researchers. Look for quantum computers to revolutionize information processing by the end of the decade. R. Colin Johnson, Kyoto Prize Fellow @NextGenLog

A phosphorus-doped one millimeter square silicon chip demonstrate how data can be stored in magnetic "spins" on the nuclei of phosphorus atoms.

The research team, led by professor Christoph Boehme, demonstrated how it's done by reading and writing spin onto phosphorus atoms in a silicon substrate, achieving a refresh time of 112 seconds—thousands of times longer than memories storing information on electron spin. To prove that atomic nuclei store spins more reliably than electrons, the Boehme group's experimental demonstration used a phosphorus-doped silicon chip measuring just 1 millimeter square. After supercooling the material to 3.2 degrees Kelvin, an intense magnetic field of nearly 8.6 Tesla aligned the spins of the phosphorus atom's electrons, which was then transferred to the nuclei by FM-band radio waves.
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