Magnetic nano-chessboard. Upper part: Visualisation of the molecule using a scanning tunnel microscope; the molecular structure is indicated for two of the molecules. Lower part: Schematic representation of the self-assembly of the molecules; they fit together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle and arrange themselves in a continuously alternating pattern.

Magnetic nano-chessboard puts itself together: Researchers switch the quantum properties of magnetic molecules

January 31, 2013

Researchers from the Paul Scherrer Institute and the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (Pune, India) have managed to ‘turn off’ the magnetization of every second molecule in an array of magnetized molecules and thereby create a ‘magnetic chessboard’. The magnetic molecules were so constructed that they were able to find their places in the nano-chessboard by themselves. Thus the nano-chessboard effectively built itself together.

The researchers were able to manipulate the quantum state of just a part of the molecules in a specific way. Being able to specifically alter the state of individual quantum objects is an important prerequisite for the development of quantum computers. Such computers would rely on the laws of quantum physics and could perform some calculational tasks very much faster than present-day computers. However, today we are very far from being able to build quantum computers that are in reality comparably powerful for particular calculations. The scientists have published their results in the journal Advanced Materials.

Read more: Magnetic nano-chessboard puts itself together: Researchers switch the quantum properties of magnetic molecules — phys.org.

Home           Top of page