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Spin liquids: an exotic quantum state of matter

August 16, 2011

Anti-ferromagnetic order (upper) compared to a spin liquid phase (lower). In an anti-ferromagnet, the spins are anti-aligned. A spin liquid has no order and the spins can be viewed as bobbing about like water molecules in liquid water (credit: E. Edwards)

Researchers at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) in College Park, Maryland, and colleagues, have uncovered evidence for a long-sought-after quantum state of matter: a spin liquid.

The researchers studied what happens when “frustration” (ensembles of interacting components that cannot settle into a state that minimizes each interaction) occurs in materials with a hexagonal (six-sided) unit cell lattice.

These atoms interact via their respective spins. The… read more

Spin Me Right Round

July 11, 2003
A molecular motor moves its rotors in one direction because of hydrogen-bonding stations specific to its rotor rings, while sitting in molecules of dichloromethane.

Tiny rotary motors made of spinning molecules hold the promise of driving microscopic devices of the future. But so far, scientists have had a difficult time controlling which direction tiny artificial cogs spin. New interlocking rings designed by a team of researchers may solve that problem, bringing the vision of clockwork machinery on a molecular scale one step closer to reality.

UV laser bursts could easily make the rings… read more

Spin soliton could make cell phone communication more secure

September 16, 2010

Soliton (NIST)

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have found theoretical evidence of a new way to generate the microwave transmissions used in modern communication devices such as cell phones. Their analysis, if supported by experimental evidence, could contribute to a new generation of wireless technology that would be more secure and resistant to interference than conventional devices.

The team’s findings point toward an oscillator that would… read more

Spin-based ‘magnetologic gate’ to replace silicon chips

October 6, 2011

The image shows a magnetologic gate, which consists of graphene contacted by several magnetic electrodes. Data is stored in the magnetic state of the electrodes, similar to the way data is stored in a magnetic hard drive. For the logic operations, electrons move through the graphene and use its spin state to compare the information held in the individual magnetic electrodes. (Credit: Kawakami lab, UC Riverside)

The University of California, Riverside has received a $1.85 million National Science Foundation grant to develop a new way of electron-spin-based computing beyond the scope of conventional silicon electronics.

The goal of the project is to speed up applications that process large amounts of data such as Internet searching, data compression, and image recognition.

“Conventional silicon electronics will soon face its ultimate limits,” said… read more

‘Spin-orbitronics’ could ‘revolutionize the electronics industry’ by manipulating magnetic domains

April 14, 2015

magnetic-domain switching ft.

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have found a new way of manipulating the walls that define magnetic domains (uniform areas in magnetic materials) and the results could one day revolutionize the electronics industry, they say.

Gong Chen and Andreas Schmid, experts in electron microscopy with Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division, led the… read more

Spinach Could Power Better Solar Cells

September 22, 2004

MIT Researchers integrated a protein complex derived from spinach chloroplasts with organic semiconductors to make a solar cell that could be combined with solid state electronics.

Previous efforts to integrate the energy harnessing capability of chlorophyll with conventional electronics have failed because it normally requires a watery environment in which to work. Here researchers artificially stabilized the protein complex at the heart of their system using synthetic peptides to… read more

Spinal cord stem cells could be basis of new treatment

July 22, 2008

A researcher at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory has pinpointed stem cells within the spinal cord that, if persuaded to differentiate into more healing cells and fewer scarring cells following an injury, may lead to a new, non-surgical treatment for debilitating spinal-cord injuries.

MIT news

Spinning Earth twists space

October 21, 2004

“Frame-dragging,” one of the last untested predictions of general relativity, has been confirmed by the first reasonably accurate measurement of how the rotating Earth warps the fabric of space.

Researchers charted the path of two NASA satellites over 11 years with laser range-finders with the precision of a few millimeters. The effect dragged the satellite’s orbits out of position by about 2 meters each year, the researchers report in… read more

Spinning new theory on particle spin brings science closer to quantum computing

September 11, 2006

Physicists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory have devised a potentially groundbreaking theory demonstrating how to control the spin of particles without using superconducting magnets — a development that could advance the field of spintronics and bring scientists a step closer to quantum computing.

Spinning Silk into Sensors

January 5, 2009

Tufts University researchers have developed a simple process that turns silk cocoons into nanoscale optical devices with biological applications such as oxygen and tumor sensors.

Spinning spare parts

May 4, 2012


Cytograft Tissue Engineering has developed a “human textile” process for weaving human threads into blood vessel patches and grafts that a patient’s body would readily accept for wound repair.

The process is faster and could be more cost-effective than other methods of producing biological tissue replacements, which are also not rejected, so they remain in the body.

Basically, researchers grow human skin cells in a culture flask under conditions… read more

Spintronic logic gate promises computing advance

June 1, 2007

University of California, San Diego researchers have drawn up plans for a semiconductor-based spintronic device that performs the same logical operations as the transistors in a normal silicon chip.

They have also shown how its spintronic logic gates could be integrated into large-scale integrated circuits.

Spintronic organic LED: brighter, cheaper, environment-friendlier

Could be on the market in five years
July 16, 2012

Spin-OLED device structure

University of Utah physicists have invented a new “spintronic” organic light-emitting diode (OLED) that promises to be brighter, cheaper and more environmentally friendly than the kinds of LEDs now used in television and computer displays, lighting, traffic lights and numerous electronic devices.

The Utah physicists made a prototype of the new kind of LED — known technically as a spin-polarized organic LED or spin OLED —… read more

Spintronic speed limit defined for next generation of high-performing data-storage devices

August 30, 2012


Scientists at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory have precisely measured a key parameter of electron interactions called non-adiabatic spin torque that is essential to the future development of spintronic data storage devices.

(Current data storage technology has a functional limit: magnetically stored digital information becomes unstable when too tightly packed. The denser, faster, and smarter technology of spintronics may offer a solution. Spintronic devices use electron spin to… read more

Spintronics advance brings wafer-scale quantum devices closer to reality

June 25, 2015

Light polarizes silicon nuclear spins within a silicon carbide chip. This image portrays the nuclear spin of one of the atoms shown in the full crystal lattice below. (credit: Courtesy of Peter Allen)

Researchers at the University of Chicago’s Institute for Molecular Engineering have taken a crucial step toward nuclear spintronic technologies that use the “spin” — or magnetization — of atomic nuclei to store and process information. The new technologies could be used for ultra-sensitive magnetic resonance imaging, advanced gyroscopes, and quantum computers.

The researchers used infrared light to make nuclear spins line themselves up in a consistent,… read more

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