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Making Massive Leaps in Electronics at Nano-Scale


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Siphephile Ncube of Wits

Siphephile Ncube, a Ph.D. student at the University of the Witwatersrand, collaborated with researchers from Wits, the University of Johannesburg, and the Paul Sabatier University in France.

Credit: University of the Witwatersrand

A breakthrough at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa (Wits) has led to a way to boost the electrical conductivity of carbon nanotubes by binding gadolinium nanoparticles to the tubes. This increase is based on the incorporation of the spin properties of the gadolinium, which stems from its magnetic nature.

"When the overall magnetic poles of the gadolinium are oppositely aligned, it causes higher resistance in the nanotubes and slows down the flows of electrons," says Wits' Siphephile Ncube. "When the magnetic poles are misaligned, it has a low resistance, and assists the electron transport."

Wits' Somnath Bhattacharyya sees significant potential is this development. "For the first time we have demonstrated spin-mediated electron transport in a network of nanotubes without incorporation of magnetic leads," he says.

From University of the Witwatersrand
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