Spintronics: How to live longer

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Taken from Nature Physics News and Views - November 2013.

Reducing the coupling an individual magnetic atom or molecule from its environment is often the key to allow it to clearly manifest its quantum spin properties, which can be exploited for new applications in information processing, data storage and sensing.  In recent years there have been a number of exciting advances in how to implement and improve this decoupling.  in a recent issue of Nature Physics, LCN researcher Dr. Cyrus Hirjibehedin has written a News & Views article providing an overview of this progress and highlighting very recent work led by a research group from the Free University of Berlin that used a superconductor to suppress spin relaxation mechanisms for magnetic molecules on the superconducting surface.

Article link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nphys2818

Figure: A quantum spin (blue ball with black arrows) on the surface of a conducting material (orange) can only maintain its state for small time because of interactions between the spin and the metal (red arrow).  However, if the material becomes superconducting, this coupling can be decreased significantly.

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