In the future, computers will be able to process information using molecules

Computer requirements increase withevery day. It is obvious that the current technologies will sooner or later run into the limit of their capabilities. In other words, increasing the performance of semiconductor processors will no longer work. Therefore, new technologies are needed that will provide a higher level of performance, as well as low power consumption, the ability to store large amounts of information. The other day one of these technologies was presented by a group of scientists from Russia and Italy. For the first time, scientists were able to detect the transition of an iron compound between two different spin states. The presence of these two states and the ability to switch between them at the right time allows you to transmit a logical signal. Perhaps, in the future, drives and processors will be based on this technology.

Spinktronics could provide computers of the future with a new level of performance

Fundamentally new processors to replace semiconductors

In modern semiconductor processorsdata transmission and logical operations are carried out due to the movement of electrons. According to experts, the possibilities of this technology have already been practically exhausted. That is, it is getting harder and harder to improve productivity. Therefore, the development of new technologies is now especially relevant.

Spinktronics, that is, a technology based ondata transfer due to the interaction of magnetic moments, or electron spins, according to experts, is very promising. The very property such as "spin" (translated means rotation) was discovered in 1924. Spin is called the proper angular momentum of elementary particles. But we will not go into details, since we are interested in the very fact that a molecule has two states, and not the principle by which this happens.

The presence of two spin states of an electron makes it possible to use this property to create a new generation of processors

As the researchers note, for spintronicsNot all materials are suitable. One of the main requirements, the substance must have the ability to be magnetized. In addition, in order to store information in binary form, molecules must exist in two constant states. The same requirement is required for logical operations. True, this applies to computers operating in a binary system. Let me remind you that quantum computers that work with qubits are also on the way, but this is another topic that we covered earlier.

Scientists for research took a polymera molecule that contains two ferrous ions. Each of the ions exists in two states - low-spin and high-spin. Moreover, they can move from one state to another independently of each other. That is, one atom can be in a low-spin state, and another in a high-spin state. The transition from one state to another is carried out almost instantly, that is, it takes microseconds.

Spinktronics - prospects and problems of creating new processors

As the authors of the study note, the mainthe complexity of the technology lies in the fact that the transition from one state to another is difficult to detect, since the molecules are symmetric. To detect the transition, the researchers used nuclear magnetic resonance technology. It allows you to record the interaction of nuclear magnetic moments with the moments of electrons. Thus, for the first time, scientists were able to detect a transition from a high-spin state to a low-spin state, and vice versa. The details of this study were published by the study authors in the journal Angewandte Chemie.

3D image of the formation of a stable spin state of an electron (spin spiral)

The discovery made by scientists may allowto create devices for ultra-dense data storage, which significantly exceed the existing types of media in terms of the amount of data that can be stored in them. Such devices are usually called molecular cellular automata.

Also, based on this technology, you can createan alternative to semiconductors for information processing, that is, new processors Their main difference from semiconductor ones is that the signal is transmitted not by a stream of electrons, but by switching molecules arranged in a chain and forming cells. According to scientists, molecular cellular automata will have lower heat and power consumption than current solutions. But most importantly, they will have much higher performance.

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Finally, I note that scientists suggest otherstechnologies that will increase the performance of processors. For example, replacing silicon transistors with analogs made on the basis of carbon nanotubes will give a thousandfold increase in performance, at the same time, power consumption will decrease, as we talked about earlier.