New Material Combination for Quantum Dots Discovered
With the constant effort to miniaturize electronics, it stands to reason that eventually we will reach to the level of single atoms. This field of technology is called solotronics and can include quantum dots, which are semiconductor crystals just nanometers in size. Recently researchers at the University of Warsaw decided to check some assumptions in the field, with surprising results.
The quantum dots the researchers were concerned with contain magnetic atoms at their core. They are produced by heating the appropriate elements within a vacuum chamber, and allowing the atoms to condense into small islands. By adding other atoms to the chamber, it is possible for them to be caught by the others and thereby become embedded in the quantum dot. Many researchers have believed that not all magnetic atoms are suited for this, and the Warsaw researchers have finally tested and debunked those beliefs. They discovered that cobalt and manganese, which have both been dismissed in the past, actually can be used to create quantum dots with single magnetic ion cores.
This discovery could have some interesting impacts on the field not only because it shows manganese and cobalt atoms could be used within the quantum dots, but perhaps other, discounted atoms could be used as well. Perhaps some of these could be used in future computers.
Source: University of Warsaw