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10-05/06 :: May/June 2010

nanotimes News in Brief

The project “Magnetization Reversal Processes in Thin-Film Nanostructure Architectures” led by Prof. Dr. Albrecht, chair of Surface and Interface Physics Department at University of Technology Chemnitz, Germany, investigates how nanopores might help to create novel memory devices. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF funds the project over a period of three years totaling EUR180,000.

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light-controllable nanotechnological devices. Dr. Marcus Böckmann, Prof. Dominik Marx (RUB) and Dr. Nikos Doltsinis (King’s College) have published their findings in Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

Chemically modified azobenzene was used for the computer simulation based on the laws of quantum mechanics. The azobenzene molecule can have two forms and vary between them, different coloured light triggering the switching processes. The resear- chers carried out a detailed computer simulation study of the switchover processes of the two mo- lecular forms, attaining unprecedented insight into the atomic resolution.

Image: Fabian Ganss, Ph.D. student at Surface and Interface Physics department, integrates a sample into an ultra-high vacuum system for metal coating. Magnetic functional layers are vapor-deposited onto networks out of nanopores. The Chemnitz scientists want to realize tiny memory devices with this concept. © TU Chemnitz/ Heiko Kießling

http://www.tu-chemnitz.de/physik/OFGF/

By computer simulation studies, a consortium of theoretical chemists and physicists from the Ruhr- University Bochum, Germany, and King’s College London, U.K. has now managed to reconstruct the exact course of the light-driven molecu- lar changes and gain insight into the switching process. This enables targeted chemical design of

Dr. Markus Böckmann explained that it is important that the switching process is fast and highly efficient in all devices in which it is used. Recent experi- ments have shown that particular chemical modifi- cations in azobenzene can significantly enhance this process. However, to date the reasons for this im- provement have not been understood. The compu- ter simulation study could explain the experimental results for the first time. The researchers reported that they have been able to establish a clear relati- onship between the structure and switching proper- ties of the molecule. This is a decisive step for the chemical design of azobenzene-based light-driven nanotechnological devices and thus the develop- ment of improved light-controlled materials. Marcus Böckmann, Nikos L. Doltsinis and Dominik Marx: Unraveling a Chemically Enhanced Photoswitch: Bridged Azobenzene. In: Angewandte Chemie International Editi- on, Vol. 49(2010), Issue 19, April 26, 2010, Pages, 3382 -3384, DOI:10.1002/ange.200907039: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ange.200907039

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