Navigation Links
3D microchip created
Date:1/30/2013

Scientists from the University of Cambridge have created, for the first time, a new type of microchip which allows information to travel in three dimensions. Currently, microchips can only pass digital information in a very limited way - from either left to right or front to back. The research was published today, 31 January, in Nature.

Dr Reinoud Lavrijsen, an author on the paper from the University of Cambridge, said: "Today's chips are like bungalows everything happens on the same floor. We've created the stairways allowing information to pass between floors."

Researchers believe that in the future a 3D microchip would enable additional storage capacity on chips by allowing information to be spread across several layers instead of being compacted into one layer, as is currently the case.

For the research, the Cambridge scientists used a special type of microchip called a spintronic chip which exploits the electron's tiny magnetic moment or 'spin' (unlike the majority of today's chips which use charge-based electronic technology). Spintronic chips are increasingly being used in computers, and it is widely believed that within the next few years they will become the standard memory chip.

To create the microchip, the researchers used an experimental technique called 'sputtering'. They effectively made a club-sandwich on a silicon chip of cobalt, platinum and ruthenium atoms. The cobalt and platinum atoms store the digital information in a similar way to how a hard disk drive stores data. The ruthenium atoms act as messengers, communicating that information between neighbouring layers of cobalt and platinum. Each of the layers is only a few atoms thick.

They then used a laser technique called MOKE to probe the data content of the different layers. As they switched a magnetic field on and off they saw in the MOKE signal the data climbing layer by layer from the bottom of the chip to the top. They then confirmed the results using a different measurement method.

Professor Russell Cowburn, lead researcher of the study from the Cavendish Laboratory, the University of Cambridge's Department of Physics, said: "Each step on our spintronic staircase is only a few atoms high. I find it amazing that by using nanotechnology not only can we build structures with such precision in the lab but also using advanced laser instruments we can actually see the data climbing this nano-staircase step by step.

"This is a great example of the power of advanced materials science. Traditionally, we would use a series of electronic transistors to move data like this. We've been able to achieve the same effect just by combining different basic elements such as cobalt, platinum and ruthenium. This is the 21st century way of building things harnessing the basic power of elements and materials to give built-in functionality."


'/>"/>
Contact: Genevieve Maul
Genevieve.maul@admin.cam.ac.uk
44-012-237-65542
University of Cambridge
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. First successful human results achieved: Implantable wireless microchip drug delivery device
2. Plasma startup creates high-energy light to make smaller microchips
3. Targeted antibacterial agent rapidly created in response to serious food safety pathogen
4. Worlds smallest semiconductor laser created by University of Texas scientists
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/22/2017)... -- Aratana Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: PETX), a pet therapeutics company focused ... for companion animals, will host a live conference call on ... financial results from the fourth quarter and full year ended ... may access the audio webcast or use the ... ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... 22, 2017  PrimeVax Immuno-Oncology, Inc. announced today its ... the Annual Biocom Global Life Science Partnering Conference.  The ... AM, at the Torrey Pines Lodge, in San Diego.  ... at Biocom who have chosen our company, amongst numerous ... companies, investors, and clinical researchers," said Mr. Chen. "In ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... 22, 2017 , ... ProMIS Neurosciences (“ProMIS” or the “Company”), ... today announced it has issued a scientific white paper entitled “Results from recent ... of commentaries from ProMIS’s scientific team offering insight into the Company’s product portfolio ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... Feb 22, 2017 Dublin ... "Global Biological Crop Protection (Bio-Pesticide) Market-By Type, By Application, By ... report to their offering. ... Global Biological Crop Protection Market is forecasted to grow ... strong growth in biopesticide or biological crop protection market is driven ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:2/2/2017)...  EyeLock LLC, a market leader of iris-based identity ... What You Should Know About Biometrics in the Cloud ... is a growing concern. In traditional schemes, cryptography is ... authentication schemes such as username/password suffer from inherent weaknesses. ... an elegant solution to the problem of high-security user ...
(Date:1/26/2017)...  Crossmatch, a leading provider of security and identity ... combatting fraud, waste and abuse in assistance operations around ... on Disaster Relief conference in Panama City ... and foreign assistance organizations throughout Latin America ... a largely unacknowledged problem in the foreign assistance and ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... DENVER , Jan. 23, 2017  The latest ... biometric smartphone prices have dropped dramatically. The quarterly average ... Q1 2013 to $276 in Q4 2016.  There are ... average price of $116, up from just 28 a ... According to Maxine Most , Acuity ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):