Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Engineers show feasibility of superfast materials: 'Organic topological insulators' for quantum computing

University of Utah engineers demonstrated it is feasible to build the first organic materials that conduct electricity on their molecular edges, but act as an insulator inside. Called organic topological insulators, these materials are made from a thin molecular sheet (left) that resembles chicken wire and conducts electricity on its right edge (blue line) -- with the electrons carrying more information in the form of "up" spin. These new materials could be used to shuttle information at the speed of light in quantum computers due to the unique physical behavior a special class of electrons called Dirac fermions, depicted (right) in a plot of their energy and momentum.

Credit: Zhengfei Wang and Feng Liu, University of Utah
University of Utah engineers demonstrated it is feasible to build the first organic materials that conduct electricity on their molecular edges, but act as an insulator inside. Called organic topological insulators, these materials are made from a thin molecular sheet (left) that resembles chicken wire and conducts electricity on its right edge (blue line) -- with the electrons carrying more information in the form of "up" spin. These new materials could be used to shuttle information at the speed of light in quantum computers due to the unique physical behavior a special class of electrons called Dirac fermions, depicted (right) in a plot of their energy and momentum.

Credit: Zhengfei Wang and Feng Liu, University of Utah

Abstract:
University of Utah engineers demonstrated it is feasible to build the first organic materials that conduct electricity on their edges, but act as an insulator inside. These materials, called organic topological insulators, could shuttle information at the speed of light in quantum computers and other high-speed electronic devices.

Engineers show feasibility of superfast materials: 'Organic topological insulators' for quantum computing

Salt Lake City, UT | Posted on February 14th, 2013

The study published this week in the journal Nature Communications will help pioneer a new field of research in materials science, in the same way organic materials lowered the cost and eased production of light-emitting diodes and solar cells, says senior author Feng Liu, professor and chair of materials science and engineering.

"This is the first demonstration of the existence of topological insulators based on organic materials," says Liu. "Our findings will broaden the scope and impact of these materials in various applications from spintronics to quantum computing."

While other researchers still must synthesize the new organic topological insulators, Liu says his team's previous work "shows we can engineer an interface between two different thin films to create topological insulators," in which electrons known as Dirac fermions move along the interface between two films, Liu adds.

Liu and his co-workers at the University of Utah's College of Engineering performed theoretical calculations to predict the existence of an organic topological insulator using molecules with carbon-carbon bonds and carbon-metal bonds, called an organometallic compound. For this new study, the team investigated how Dirac fermions move along the edges of this compound, which looks like a sheet of chicken wire.

To generate a topological insulator, scientists have to design materials that can transmit fermions. In a topological insulator, fermions behave like a massless or weightless packet of light, conducting electricity as they move very fast along a material's surface or edges. When these fermions venture inside the material, however, this "weightless" conductivity screeches to a halt.

What's more, Dirac fermions have a property called spin, or angular momentum around the particle's axis that behaves like a magnetic pole. This property gives scientists another way to place information into a particle because the spin can be switched "up" or "down." Such a mechanism could be useful for spin-based electronic devices, called spintronics, which can store information both in the charge and the spin of electrons.

"We have demonstrated a system with a special type of electron - a Dirac fermion - in which the spin motion can be manipulated to transmit information," Liu says. "This is advantageous over traditional electronics because it's faster and you don't have to worry about heat dissipation."

Earlier this year, Liu and his team discovered a "reversible" topological insulator in a system of bismuth-based compounds in which the behavior of ordinary or Dirac fermions could be controlled at the interface between two thin films. Bismuth is a metal best known as an ingredient of Pepto-Bismol. These theoretical predictions were confirmed experimentally by co-authors from Shanghai Jiaotong University in China.

Although inorganic topological insulators based on different materials have been studied for the last decade, organic or molecular topological insulators have not.

Liu conducted the study with Zhengfei Wang and Zheng Liu, both postdoctoral fellows in materials science and engineering at the University of Utah. The study was funded primarily by the U.S. Department of Energy, with additional support from the Army Research Laboratory and from the National Science Foundation through the University of Utah's Materials Research Science and Engineering Center.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Aditi Risbud

801-587-9038

University of Utah College of Engineering
72 S. Central Campus Dr., Room 1650 WEB
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
801-581-6911
fax: 801-581-8692
www.coe.utah.edu

Copyright © University of Utah

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

News and information

Nanoparticle versus cancer: Scientists have created nanoparticles which cure cancer harmlessly July 22nd, 2016

Quantum drag:University of Iowa physicist says current in one iron magnetic sheet can create quantized spin waves in another, separate sheet July 22nd, 2016

New Yale-developed device lengthens the life of quantum information July 22nd, 2016

RMIT researchers make leap in measuring quantum states July 21st, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Quantum drag:University of Iowa physicist says current in one iron magnetic sheet can create quantized spin waves in another, separate sheet July 22nd, 2016

Weird quantum effects stretch across hundreds of miles July 21st, 2016

Scientists glimpse inner workings of atomically thin transistors July 21st, 2016

The birth of quantum holography: Making holograms of single light particles! July 21st, 2016

Spintronics

Quantum drag:University of Iowa physicist says current in one iron magnetic sheet can create quantized spin waves in another, separate sheet July 22nd, 2016

A mini-antenna for the data processing of tomorrow: Nature Nanotechnology: Short-wavelength spin waves generated directly for the first time July 20th, 2016

A new spin on reality July 15th, 2016

Leti and Korea Institute of Science and Technology to Explore Collaboration on Advanced Technologies for Digital Era July 14th, 2016

Chip Technology

Quantum drag:University of Iowa physicist says current in one iron magnetic sheet can create quantized spin waves in another, separate sheet July 22nd, 2016

New Yale-developed device lengthens the life of quantum information July 22nd, 2016

New reaction for the synthesis of nanostructures July 21st, 2016

Research team led by NUS scientists develop plastic flexible magnetic memory device: Novel technique to implant high-performance magnetic memory chip on a flexible plastic surface without compromising performance July 21st, 2016

Quantum Computing

New Yale-developed device lengthens the life of quantum information July 22nd, 2016

RMIT researchers make leap in measuring quantum states July 21st, 2016

Electron 'spin control' of levitated nanodiamonds could bring advances in sensors, quantum information processing July 20th, 2016

Tiny works of art with great potential: New materials for the construction of metal-organic 2-dimensional quasicrystals July 15th, 2016

Discoveries

Nanoparticle versus cancer: Scientists have created nanoparticles which cure cancer harmlessly July 22nd, 2016

Quantum drag:University of Iowa physicist says current in one iron magnetic sheet can create quantized spin waves in another, separate sheet July 22nd, 2016

New Yale-developed device lengthens the life of quantum information July 22nd, 2016

Research team led by NUS scientists develop plastic flexible magnetic memory device: Novel technique to implant high-performance magnetic memory chip on a flexible plastic surface without compromising performance July 21st, 2016

Announcements

Nanoparticle versus cancer: Scientists have created nanoparticles which cure cancer harmlessly July 22nd, 2016

Quantum drag:University of Iowa physicist says current in one iron magnetic sheet can create quantized spin waves in another, separate sheet July 22nd, 2016

New Yale-developed device lengthens the life of quantum information July 22nd, 2016

Graphene photodetectors: Thinking outside the 2-D box July 21st, 2016

Military

Scientists develop way to upsize nanostructures into light, flexible 3-D printed materials: Virginia Tech, Livermore National Lab researchers develop hierarchical 3-D printed metallic materials July 20th, 2016

Rice's 'antenna-reactor' catalysts offer best of both worlds: Technology marries light-harvesting nanoantennas to high-reaction-rate catalysts July 18th, 2016

'Green' electronic materials produced with synthetic biology July 16th, 2016

New method can identify chemical warfare agents more easily: The method could help governments protect people from horrifying toxic effects July 15th, 2016

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