Russian physicists have come up with material for supercomputers of the future

© Photo : Gregory Stewart, SLACЭлектроны and the nucleus of the atomRussian physicists have come up with material for supercomputers of the future© Photo : Gregory Stewart, SLAC

. Russian theoretical physicists predict the existence of a special class of materials — metals, which do not contain metal atoms and can be the basis for future ultra-fast computers, according to a paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

«In a sense, our discovery was a surprise even for us. It is, in fact, confirms Lenin’s famous thesis of the inexhaustibility of the electron along with the atom. Now it’s up to experimenters. Substances, which are well described by the model considered by us, know quite a lot. I am convinced that the predicted phase is eventually discovered,» said Artem Sboychakov from the Institute of theoretical and applied electrodynamics, Russian Academy of Sciences.

The so-called semimetals from the point of view of physicists are not chemical substances, which occupies an intermediate position between these metals and semiconductors like silicon and special materials that selectively allow the electrical current. The prefix «semi» in their title due to the fact that they pass only those electrons whose spin is rotated either up or down.

Such materials, as explained by the press service of MIPT, today considered one of the main candidates to replace silicon and other semiconductors used in electronics manufacturing. Metals will allow scientists and engineers to use the spin of electrons to transmit information. It will make the computers ten times faster and more economical and will allow you to «resurrect» Moore’s law has lost its force in recent years.

As explained Sboychakov and his colleagues, all known metals containing atoms and ions of these metals, many of which are rare and expensive, but others are extremely toxic and unsafe for humans. It is not possible to use spin electronics as components of the cybernetic prostheses and various implanted chips.

Scientists from the itpe ran, MIPT and their foreign colleagues from Japan and the United States, experimenting with special insulating materials, electrons and holes which are distributed unevenly, found that the properties of the semimetals can have substances which do not contain these metals.

As it turned out, these insulators can be turned into metals, if you replace a part of atoms of a specific set of other items, which will change the distribution of «extra» electrons and areas of excess positive charge and bind them in chains, for which a spin-current can move freely.

As such additives, as noted by Alexander Rozhkov, a physicist from Moscow physical-technical Institute in Dolgoprudny, there may be atoms of nitrogen, phosphorus and other elements, the number of electrons which differs from what they contained in the original material.

According to the Russian physicists, a theoretical discovery has attracted the attention of fellow experimenters from the American Rutgers University and they have promised in the near future to begin the process of selecting the right «stuffing» for the substance of the insulator, which would make him a non-metallic semimetal. The creation of such substances would accelerate the development of spin electronics and help humanity to find new applications for these materials.