Using nanotechnology to control the spin of a single electron in a carbon nanotube might lead to replacing conventional semiconductor transistors with a carbon nanotube or single molecule. From a University of Copenhagen news release “Memory in artificial atoms” found via PhysOrg.com:
…The discovery of the scientists at Nano-Science Center and the Niels Bohr Institute, Jonas Hauptmann, Jens Paaske and Poul Erik Lindelof, is a step on the way towards a new means of data-storage, in which electricity and magnetism are combined in a new transistor concept.
…Jonas Hauptmann says: “We are the first to obtain direct electrical control of the smallest magnets in nature, one single electron spin. This has vast perspectives in the long run. In our experiments, we use carbon nanotubes as transistors. We have placed the nanotubes between magnetic electrodes and we have shown, that the direction of a single electron spin caught on the nanotube can be controlled directly by an electric potential. One can picture this single electron spin caught on the nanotube as an artificial atom.”
…Jens Paaske says “Transistors are important components in every electronic device. We work with a completely new transistor concept, in which a carbon nanotube or a single organic molecule takes the place of the traditional semi-conductor transistor. Our discovery shows that the new transistor can function as a magnetic memory.”
The research was published in Nature Physics (abstract).