A team of TU Delft researchers has developed an 11-atom sensor: a minuscule device with an antenna, a reset button, a hard disk, a reading screen, and the ability to receive magnetic waves. The sensor was developed with the sole purpose of studying the behavior of magnetic waves to later use that information in green ICT applications.
Theoretically, spintronics offers a more efficient way of data processing as magnetic signals are simply used for data transmission. However, this concept has some complications. Magnetism gets tricky over the tiny scale of computer chips.
A magnetic wave can be viewed as millions of compass needles perform a complex dance together. The laws of quantum mechanics help magnetic waves move at lightning speed and run in multiple directions — simultaneously. This gives them an additional elusive nature.
A trap for magnetism
The team at Delft developed this minuscule device to study fleeting vibrations of magnetic waves. The device has just 11 atoms that form in different parts. Its main job is to remember whether a magnetic wave has passed or not. It’s analogous to a mousetrap that reacts very quickly to trap the mouse.
This device was connected to magnetic atomic wires that helped in sending magnetic waves. Though the test wires were short in length, they yielded promising results. The waves moved as strangely as expected under the norms of quantum mechanics. Now, the team plans to apply this technique to more complicated circuits to get more insight into spintronics behavior.