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Penn State Physicist Using Spintronics to Improve Mobile Chips

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PENNSYLVANIA, USA –  Penn State researcher Nitin Samarth is working on materials needed to create chips for super-fast computers, relying on spintronics.

Samarth, department head of physics at Penn State, says that present technology for making processors work faster involves shrinking the size of transistors. However, the fundamental laws of physics limit this miniaturization – transistors run on electric current so it must be at least big enough to allow electrons through.

Nitin Samarth spintronics Penn State

The researcher thus is investigating new materials for transistors that rely on magnetism, instead of the flow of electrons. The Physics professor is abandoning current methods in favor of a single-electron transistor. He’s designing new materials that will let individual electrons spin in one of two opposite ways instead of having electrons flow hotly through a transistor.

He said that quantum mechanics – which deals with physical phenomena at the atomic scale – allows the electron to only either spin up or spin down in the presence of a magnetic field.

With Samarth’s research, super-fast and powerful smartphones and tablets may not be very far from the future.

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By , International Correspondent, Cebo (Philippines) office
Published on Apr 18th, 2013 GMT +2


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