Graphene is extremely strong for its weight, it's electrically and thermally conductive, and it's chemically stable ... but it isn't magnetic. Now, however, a team from the University of California, Riverside has succeeded in making it so. The resulting magnetized graphene could have a wide range of applications, including use in "spintronic" computer chips.
Exciting times are ahead in the high-tech industries with the discovery by three independent groups that a new class of materials mimic the special electronic properties of graphene in 3D. Research into these superfast massless charge carriers opens up a wide range of potential applications in electronics, including smaller hard drives with more storage capacity, faster transistors and more efficient optical sensors.
A major obstruction to the development of practical 3D microchips
is moving data and logic signals from one layer of circuitry to another. This can be done with conventional circuitry, but is quite cumbersome and generates a good deal of heat inside the 3D circuit. Physicists at the University of Cambridge have now developed a spintronic shift register that allows information to be passed between different layers of a 3D microchip.
We’ve seen a number of next-generation display technologies emerge in recent years, such as Sony’s “Crystal LED
,” Uni-Pixel’s time-multiplexed optical shutter
(TMOS) technology, and quantum dot LED
(QLED) display technology from LG and QD Vision, and now there’s another one to add to the mix. While displays based on the new “spintronic” OLED technology invented by physicists at the University of Utah are still some years off, the researchers say they should be brighter, cheaper and more environmentally friendly than the LEDs found in the current crop of TVs, computer displays, traffic lights and other electronic devices.
The microwave technology used in applications such as mobile phones and wireless networks may be on its way to being replaced - with parts that are smaller, less expensive, and that consume less resources. Instead of microwaves, devices of the future may use spin waves, which are nanoscale magnetic waves. For almost ten years, it has been theorized that spin waves could be propagated using magnetic nanocontacts. Recently, scientists from the University of Gothenburg and the Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, became the first people to demonstrate that the theory meshes with observable phenomena.
Using flexible organic semiconductors, researchers at Queen Mary, University of London and the University of Fribourg have made a discovery that could lead to the simultaneous storing and processing of data on the same computer chip, bringing a dramatic improvement in power efficiency and reduced weight of electronic devices.
Tired of waiting for your computer to boot up? Within five to seven years, you may no longer have to. That’s the estimated amount of time it will take to bring Racetrack Memory
to market. Racetrack is a proposed new shock-proof system that is said to be 100,000 times faster than current hard drives, while also being 300 times more energy-efficient. Although it incorporates cutting-edge nanotechnology, it’s based on the same principles as the humble VHS videotape.
Researchers at two different institutions have recently announced the development of technologies for converting waste heat from electronics into something useful
. At the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), they’ve created a silicon nanomesh film that could collect heat from electric appliances such as computers or refrigerators and convert it to electricity. Meanwhile, their colleagues at Ohio State University (OSU) have been working with a semiconducting material that has the capacity to turn waste heat from computers into additional processing power.
– or spin electronics – is an emerging technology that exploits the intrinsic spin of the electron rather than its charge, as is the case with current electronic devices. The technology promises microelectronic devices that can store more data
in less space, process data faster
, and consume less power. Researchers at Ohio State University (OSU) have now demonstrated the first plastic memory device that utilizes the spin of electrons to read and write data.