Computing with molecules: A big step in molecular spintronics

December 23, 2019

Spintronics or spin electronics in contrast to conventional electronics uses the spin of electrons for sensing, information storage, transport, and processing. Potential advantages are nonvolatility, increased data processing speed, decreased electric power consumption, and higher integration densities compared to conventional semiconductor devices. Molecular spintronics aims for the ultimate step towards miniaturization of spintronics by striving to actively control the spin states of individual molecules. Chemists and physicists at Kiel University joined forces with colleagues from France, and Switzerland to design, deposit and operate single molecular spin switches on surfaces. The newly developed molecules feature stable spin states and do not lose their functionality upon adsorption on surfaces. They present their results in the current issue of the renowned journal Nature Nanotechnology.

The spin states of the new compounds are stable for at least several days. "This is achieved by a design trick that resembles the fundamental electronic circuits in computers, the so-called flip-flops. Bistability or switching between 0 and 1 is realized by looping the output signal back to the input", says experimental physicist Dr. Manuel Gruber from Kiel University. The new molecules have three properties that are coupled with each other in such a feedback loop: their shape (planar or flat), the proximity of two subunits, called coordination (yes or no), and the spin state (high-spin or low-spin). Thus, the molecules are locked either in one or the other state. Upon sublimation and deposition on a silver surface, the switches self-assemble into highly ordered arrays. Each molecule in such an array can be separately addressed with a scanning tunneling microscope and switched between the states by applying a positive or negative voltage.

„Our new spin switch realizes in just one molecule what takes several components like transistors and resistors in conventional electronics. That's a big step towards further miniaturisation", Dr. Manuel Gruber und organic chemist Prof. Dr. Rainer Herges explain. The next step will be to increase the complexity of the compounds to implement more sophisticated operations.

Molecules are the smallest constructions that can be designed and built with atomic precision and predictable properties. Their response to electrical or optical stimuli and their custom-designed chemical and physical functionality make them unique candidates to develop new classes of devices such as controllable surface catalysts or optical devices.
-end-
Original publication:

Alexander Köbke, Florian Gutzeit, Fynn Röhricht, Alexander Schlimm, Jan Grunwald, Felix Tuczek, Michal Studniarek, Danilo Longo, Fadi Choueikani, Edwige Otero, Philippe Ohresser, Sebastian Rohlf, Sven Johannsen, Florian Diekmann, Kai Rossnagel, Alexander Weismann, Torben Jasper-Toennies, Christian Näther, Rainer Herges, Richard Berndt, Manuel Gruber, Reversible coordination-induced spin-state switching in complexes on metal surfaces, Nature Nanotechnology (2019), DOI: 10.1038/s41565-019-0594-8

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41565-019-0594-8

Pictures for Download:

https://www.uni-kiel.de/de/pressemitteilungen/2019/414-spintronik-1.jpg

Caption: Each molecule can be separately addressed with a scanning tunneling microscope and switched between the states by applying a positive or negative voltage.

© Jan-Simon von Glasenapp and Prof. Dr. Rainer Herges

https://www.uni-kiel.de/de/pressemitteilungen/2019/414-spintronik-2.jpg

Caption: The new molecule has three properties. Only two combinations of these properties are stable. Switched between the different states is achieved by applying tiny tunneling currents.

© Prof. Dr. Rainer Herges

Kontakt:

Prof. Dr. Rainer Herges
Otto Diels Institute of Organic Chemistry
Tel. +49 (0)431 880 2440
Mail: rherges@oc.uni-kiel.de
Web: https://www.otto-diels-institut.de/en/otto-diels-institute-of-organic-chemistry

Dr. rer. nat. Manuel Gruber
Oberflächenphysik
Tel. +49 (0)431 880 5091
Mail: gruber@physik.uni-kiel.de
Web: http://www.ieap.uni-kiel.de/surface

The project was supported by CRC 677 „Function by Switching", which was funded in the period 2007-2019 by the German Research Foundation at CAU in Kiel.

More information about research area KiNSIS

Details, which are only a millionth of a millimetre in size: this is what the priority research area "Kiel Nano, Surface and Interface Science - KiNSIS" at Kiel University has been working on. In the nano-cosmos, different laws prevail than in the macroscopic world - those of quantum physics. Through intensive, interdisciplinary cooperation between physics, chemistry, engineering and life sciences, the priority research area aims to understand the systems in this dimension and to implement the findings in an application-oriented manner. Molecular machines, innovative sensors, bionic materials, quantum computers, advanced therapies and much more could be the result. More information at http://www.kinsis.uni-kiel.de

Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

Presse, Kommunikation und Marketing, Dr. Boris Pawlowski

Postanschrift: D-24098 Kiel, Telefon: (0431) 880-2104, Telefax: (0431) 880-1355

E-Mail: presse@uv.uni-kiel.de Internet: http://www.uni-kiel.de Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/kieluni

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kieluni Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/kieluni

Kiel University

Related Spintronics Articles from Brightsurf:

A four-state magnetic tunnel junction for novel spintronics applications
Researchers have introduced a new type of MTJ with four resistance states, and successfully demonstrated switching between the states with spin currents.

Ultrafast electrons in magnetic oxides: A new direction for spintronics?
Special metal oxides could one day replace semiconductor materials that are commonly used today in processors.

Efficient valves for electron spins
Researchers at the University of Basel in collaboration with colleagues from Pisa have developed a new concept that uses the electron spin to switch an electrical current.

Magnetic memory states go exponential
Researchers showed that relatively simple structures can support exponential number of magnetic states - much greater than previously thought - and demonstrated switching between the states by generating spin currents.

New breakthrough in 'spintronics' could boost high speed data technology
Scientists have made a pivotal breakthrough in the important, emerging field of spintronics -- which could lead to a new high speed energy efficient data technology.

A path to new nanofluidic devices applying spintronics technology
Japanese scientists have elucidated the mechanism of the hydrodynamic power generation using spin currents in micrometer-scale channels, finding that power generation efficiency improves drastically as the size of the flow is made smaller.

Extensive review of spin-gapless semiconductors: Next-generation spintronics candidates
An Australian has published an extensive review of spin-gapless semiconductors (SGSs), a new class of 'zero bandgap' materials which have fully spin polarised electrons and holes, and first proposed in 2008 by the review team's lead, Professor Xiaolin Wang (University of Wollongong).

Graphene and 2D materials could move electronics beyond 'Moore's Law'
A team of researchers based in Manchester, the Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland and the USA has published a new review on a field of computer device development known as spintronics, which could see graphene used as building block for next-generation electronics.

Toward a more energy-efficient spintronics
In order to generate and detect spin currents, spintronics traditionally uses ferromagnetic materials whose magnetization switching consume high amounts of energy.

Computing with molecules: A big step in molecular spintronics
Chemists and physicists at Kiel University joined forces with colleagues from France, and Switzerland to design, deposit and operate single molecular spin switches on surfaces.

Read More: Spintronics News and Spintronics Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.