Explore unique materials with adjustable properties

Chromium oxide clusters, which are composed of chromium and oxygen atoms, are highly regarded for their unique electrical properties and allow fine-tuning of conductance. Adding an oxygen atom to the chromium cluster improves the metal properties. Credit: Scott Sayres

If you are old enough, you may still have a box of cassettes or VHS tapes lying around. These storage devices were popular in the 1970s and 1980s, but have since become obsolete and have been replaced by CDs and other digital media.

Researchers are now drawing new attention to chromium oxide, a magnetic compound that was once used to coat the surface of such tapes.

In a new study, researchers at ASU’s Center for Applied Structure Discovery Biodesign and ASU’s School of Molecular Science, Scott Sayres and Jacob Garcia, use mass spectrometry and ultrafast laser pulses to investigate chromium oxide in unprecedented detail. I am.

“Chromium oxide is known to have really exciting magnetism, Electronic characteristics“It’s a very unique material that is not well understood at the molecular level.” One of the surprising findings of current research is that the addition of oxygen atoms to chromium compounds improves metallic properties and these changes are very accurate. Can be. It is controlled.

The result is an adjustable molecular size that can quickly open the door to new types of electronics that can reach the smallest possible scale and significantly increase the processing and storage capacity of new devices. Allows you to design components in.

Survey results published in the latest issue of Journal of the American Chemical Society (((JACS), Explain the behavior of chrome clusters Oxide Atoms, you can tweak them to change Electrical conductanceIt behaves differently as a wire-like conductor of electricity, semiconductors, or insulators, depending on the number of oxygen atoms present.

Such innovations are part of the ongoing change in electronics known as spintronics. While traditional electronic devices control the flow of charge, spintronics can also take advantage of the quantum property of electrons, spin, to enable much larger storage capacity and data transfer speeds.

The basic idea pervaded the first consumer products in the late 1990s in the form of magnetic computer hard drives, which boasted hundreds of times more storage capacity than their predecessors.

Chromium oxide is particularly suitable for such applications due to its high spin polarity.This is the number of oxygen atoms (or Oxidation state).

Chromium oxide, known as half metal, is an inorganic compound composed of oxygen and chromium. atom, These combine to form a crystal structure. The term half-metal implies the fact that its electrical properties can vary between high conductance metal behavior and low conductance insulation behavior, depending on its electron configuration.

In the current study Femtosecond laser Is used as a camera to observe the movement of excited electrons and captures femtosecond timescales, or dynamic events that occur in one millionth of a second. NS Oxygen atom When added to chromium clusters, a subtle transition between insulation and metal conductivity was observed.

“We took the smallest possible components of chromium oxide and tried to change them atom by atom,” says Sayres. The results show that the bulk properties of chromium oxide are present to a very small scale. “This means that we can create new devices with very small amounts of material and maintain these exciting electronic properties known for chromium oxide.”

In addition to the new generation of familiar electronic devices, chromium Oxide-based spintronics may help pave the way for quantum computing.

Physicists find the origin of “magnon” in 2D magnets

For more information:
Jacob M. Garcia et al, Increased Excited State Metallicity of Neutral Cr2About clusters (n Journal of the American Chemical Society (2021). DOI: 10.1021 / jacs.1c07275

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Explore unique materials with adjustable properties

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