facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

New materials may be computer breakthrough

Feb. 13, 2013 at 4:14 PM   |   Comments

SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- "Superfast" materials that shuttle information at the speed of light in quantum computers and other electronic devices are on the horizon, U.S. researchers say.

University of Utah engineers report the ability to build the first organic materials, dubbed organic topological insulators, that conduct electricity on their edges but act as an insulator inside.

The research could open a new field of study in materials science, in the same way organic materials lowered the cost and eased production of light-emitting diodes and solar cells, researchers said.

"This is the first demonstration of the existence of topological insulators based on organic materials," materials science Professor Feng Liu said. "Our findings will broaden the scope and impact of these materials in various applications from spintronics to quantum computing."

In a topological insulator, electrons known as Dirac fermions behave like massless or weightless packets of light, conducting electricity as they move very fast along a material's surface or edges.

"We have demonstrated a system with a special type of electron -- a Dirac fermion -- in which the spin motion can be manipulated to transmit information," Liu said.

Such particles can contain and carry information because the spin can be switched "up" or "down."

"This is advantageous over traditional electronics because it's faster and you don't have to worry about heat dissipation," Liu said.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
35,000 walruses haul out of ocean, crowd Alaskan shore 35,000 walruses haul out of ocean, crowd Alaskan shore
2
Next week's lunar eclipse may feature the color turquoise Next week's lunar eclipse may feature the color turquoise
3
NASA satellite shows scope of Aral Sea disaster NASA satellite shows scope of Aral Sea disaster
4
Apple releases fix for 'Shellshock' virus Apple releases fix for 'Shellshock' virus
5
Social network Ello getting thousands of requests per hour Social network Ello getting thousands of requests per hour
Trending News
x
Feedback