U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory scientists using SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) X-ray laser found that it takes only 1 trillionth of a second to flip the on-off electrical switch in samples of magnetite, which is thousands of times faster than in transistors now in use.
Roopali Kukreja, a materials science researcher at SLAC and Stanford University who is a lead author of the study , said that this breakthrough research reveals for the first time the 'speed limit' for electrical switching in this material.
The LCLS experiment also showed researchers how the electronic structure of the sample rearranged into non-conducting "islands" surrounded by electrically conducting regions, which began to form just hundreds of quadrillionths of a second after a laser pulse struck the sample.
The study shows how such conducting and non-conducting states can coexist and create electrical pathways in next-generation transistors.
Scientists first hit each sample with a visible-light laser, which fragmented the material's electronic structure at an atomic scale, rearranging it to form the islands.
how long till magnetite tablets and phones...