This has interesting possibilities. I wonder where this fits in with Quantum computing?
Scientists at an IBM research center in Silicon Valley have created a magnetism-manipulating tool suited to building molecular computers, the company revealed.
The development was touted as a step toward making computers based on the spin of electrons and atoms.
“We have a tool in place to develop the product of the future,” said German-born researcher Andreas Heinrich of IBM’s Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California.
“We all know we can’t shrink the silicon-based technology used in today’s computers down to the atomic level. We have to look at a radically different concept, and that is what we are doing here.”
The new method was called “spin-excitation spectroscopy” and used a specially-designed microscope capable of creating magnetic fields as much as 140,000 times stronger than that of the Earth, scientists said.
Researchers were able to manipulate atoms and measure the effect their spins had on each other, according to IBM.
“We can study the magnetic phenomena used in hard drives, but on the scale of single atoms,” Heinrich told AFP. “It could enable us, in the very far future, to be able to build computer devices on an atomic scale.”
The above link to the Yahoo News article is now dead. Here is a link to the article at freerepublic. I will also post the entire article in the comments section.
About the image:
This scanning tunneling microscope image shows a 28-nanometer square area of terraced copper and copper nitride (CuN) where IBM researchers performed atom-scale magnetism experiments. The smooth flat surfaces are copper metal; the cross-hatched, slightly depressed areas are patches of insulating CuN. The humps on the surfaces are the manganese structures, one to 10 atoms long.