Molecules use as data storage devices rather than electronic or magnetic memory cells to be able, would revolutionize the data storage. Molecular memory cells would be a thousand times smaller than conventional ones. Scientists at the Christian-Albrechts University in Kiel (CAU) are now the molecular memory cell has a large step closer. They managed a fix and the magnetism of the individual, so-called spin-crossover molecules, using transmission electron off. The interdisciplinary study of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) SFB 677 "Function by Switching" shows that the storage of information on the molecules is technically feasible.
"We knew that in principle it is possible to store information in a single molecule, but can techniques to implement with which it will be available only recently started gradually," says project leader Professor Richard Berndt from the Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics of the CAU, the motivation for the investigation.Since the 1980s, says Berndt, are imaged individual molecules on surfaces using scanning tunneling microscopes.
In the current research, it was all about to change target specific molecular properties, thereby allowing long-term applications. Also, the Collaborative Research Center 677 "Function by Switching" at Kiel University is concerned with such studies in order to ultimately can make molecular machines. In the present study focused on the magnetism of a molecule. Using a scanning tunneling microscope was able Berndt's collaborator Dr. Gopakumar Thiruvancheril to switch the magnetic properties of individual molecules between two states. Although the molecules were in this densely packed layers, he was able to select individual molecules and turn them specifically.
The selective control of individual molecules makes possible the storage of information. "Worldwide, a lot of working groups, the magnetic properties of molecules dominate.Gopakumar advances with these measurements, the field is an important step, "says Berndt. The molecules (spin crossover complexes) were produced at the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry of the CAU. "Although the search for suitable molecules was very slow, we are very satisfied with this result," says Professor Felix Tuczek, head of the Inorganic Chemistry group. Next, he says, they wanted to change the molecules so that they could be switched with light and at higher temperatures.
For more information: http://www.uni-kiel.de/aktuell/pm/2012/2012-169-schaltbare-magneten.shtml