Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Physicists Control the Flip of Electron Spin in New Study

Abstract:
Possible implications for the development of optoelectronics and quantum cryptography

Physicists Control the Flip of Electron Spin in New Study

Athens, OH | May 27, 2005

Today's computers and other technological gizmos operate on electronic charges, but researchers predict that a new generation of smaller, faster, more efficient devices could be developed based on another scientific concept - electronic "spin." The problem, however, is that researchers have found it challenging to control or predict spin - which keeps practical applications out of reach.

But physicists in Europe, California and at Ohio University now have found a way to manipulate the spin of an electron with a jolt of voltage from a battery, according to research findings published in the recent issue of the journal Physical Review Letters.

In the new study, scientists applied voltage to the electron in a quantum dot, which is a tiny, nanometer-sized semiconductor. The burst of power changed the direction of the electron's spin - which can move either up or down. This also caused it to emit a small particle of light called a photon, explained Richard Warburton, a physicist with Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, and lead author on the new paper.

"Usually you have no control over this at all - an electron flips its spin at some point, and you scratch your head and wonder why it happened. But in our experiment, we can choose how long this process takes," he said.

The experiment was based on a theory by Sasha Govorov, an Ohio University associate professor of physics and astronomy who is co-author on the current paper. Pierre Petroff, a scientist with the University of California at Santa Barbara, contributed the semiconductor used in the experiment, Indium Arsenide, which commonly is used in electronics. "It's one of those happy collaborations - Pierre has given us some fantastic material and Sasha has come up with some really smart ideas," Warburton said.

The scientists were able to manipulate how long it would take for the electron to flip its spin and emit a photon - from one to 20 nanoseconds. But Govorov's theory suggests that 20 nanoseconds isn't the upper limit, which will lead the physicists to try out longer time periods.

Scientists' abilities to control the spin of the electron help determine the properties of the photon, which in turn could have implications for the development of optoelectronics and quantum cryptography. Photons could be encoded with secure information, which could serve as the basis for anti-eavesdropping technology, Warburton said.

The current study is one of many in the growing field of nanoscience that aims to find, understand and control physical effects at the nanoscale that could serve as the basis of a new generation of technology that is smaller and more powerful than today's electronic devices, Govorov said.

"The principles, knowledge and experience will be used for practical, real devices, we hope," he said.

The study was funded by EPSRC in the United Kingdom, Ohio University, Volkswagen, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundations, with additional support by the Scottish Executive and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Collaborators on the paper are Jason Smith and Paul Dalgarno of Heriot-Watt University, Khaled Karrai of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat in Germany, and Brian Gerardot and Pierre Petroff with the University of California Santa Barbara.

####

Contact:
Richard Warburton
44-131-4518069
R.J.Warburton@hw.ac.uk

Sasha Govorov
(740) 593-9430
govorov@helios.phy.ohiou.edu

Copyright © Ohio University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Possible Futures

Sediment dwelling creatures at risk from nanoparticles in common household products August 13th, 2015

Harris & Harris Group Reports Financial Statements as of June 30, 2015, and Announces a Stock Repurchase Program August 10th, 2015

Molecular trick alters rules of attraction for non-magnetic metals August 5th, 2015

Global Carbon Nanotubes Industry 2015: Acute Market Reports August 4th, 2015

Spintronics

Spintronics: Molecules stabilizing magnetism: Organic molecules fixing the magnetic orientation of a cobalt surface/ building block for a compact and low-cost storage technology/ publication in Nature Materials July 25th, 2015

Penn researchers discover new chiral property of silicon, with photonic applications July 25th, 2015

Spintronics just got faster July 20th, 2015

Fundamental observation of spin-controlled electrical conduction in metals: Ultrafast terahertz spectroscopy yields direct insight into the building block of modern magnetic memories July 6th, 2015

Discoveries

A new technique to make drugs more soluble August 28th, 2015

Nanocatalysts improve processes for the petrochemical industry August 28th, 2015

CWRU researchers efficiently charge a lithium-ion battery with solar cell: Coupling with perovskite solar cell holds potential for cleaner cars and more August 27th, 2015

Successful boron-doping of graphene nanoribbon August 27th, 2015

Announcements

Small but heading for the big time: Nanobiotix half year results for the six months ended 30 June 2015, in line with expectations: Major clinical achievements and corporate developments August 28th, 2015

A new technique to make drugs more soluble August 28th, 2015

Nanocatalysts improve processes for the petrochemical industry August 28th, 2015

Nanolab Technologies LEAPS Forward with High-Performance Analysis Services to the World: Nanolab Orders Advanced Local Electrode Atom Probe (LEAP®) Microscope from CAMECA Unit of AMETEK Materials Analysis Division August 27th, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic