Blue dye could boost computer performance

A technique that controls the magnetic properties of a commonly used blue dye could vastly increase the power of computer processors.

iPods, CD read/writers, and other electronic devices already use the magnetic properties of materials to process and store information. The size and power of these devices has improved considerably over the years, but the current technology may soon hit a limit in the improvements that can be made.

However, Dr Sandrine Heutz, from Imperial College London’s Department of Materials, and scientists from the London Centre for Nanotechnology, believe that the dye Metal Phthalocyanine (MPc) could provide the answer. Molecules of MPc contain a framework of carbon, nitrogen and hydrogen atoms that can hold other atoms at its centre. Heutz found that when this framework surrounds copper or magnesium, the molecules act as tiny magnets that could be used to store information.

The team can finely control the interactions between these molecules by controlling the temperature and rate at which the crystals of MPc grow. Because the interactions can be controlled at a molecular level, it is hoped that the devices could store and process information using more compact chips than had previously been possible.

Twitter icon
Google icon icon
Digg icon
LinkedIn icon
Reddit icon
e-mail icon

For functionality and security for externalised research, software providers have turned to the cloud, writes Sophia Ktori


Robert Roe looks at the latest simulation techniques used in the design of industrial and commercial vehicles


Robert Roe investigates the growth in cloud technology which is being driven by scientific, engineering and HPC workflows through application specific hardware


Robert Roe learns that the NASA advanced supercomputing division (NAS) is optimising energy efficiency and water usage to maximise the facility’s potential to deliver computing services to its user community


Robert Roe investigates the use of technologies in HPC that could help shape the design of future supercomputers