Article | Published:

Information storage and retrieval in a single levitating colloidal particle

Nature Nanotechnology volume 10, pages 886891 (2015) | Download Citation

Abstract

The binary switch is a basic component of digital information. From phase-change alloys to nanomechanical beams, molecules and atoms, new strategies for controlled bistability hold great interest for emerging technologies. We present a generic methodology for precise and parallel spatiotemporal control of nanometre-scale matter in a fluid, and demonstrate the ability to attain digital functionalities such as switching, gating and data storage in a single colloid, with further implications for signal amplification and logic operations. This fluid-phase bit can be arrayed at high densities, manipulated by either electrical or optical fields, supports low-energy, high-speed operation and marks a first step toward ‘colloidal information’. The principle generalizes to any system where spatial perturbation of a particle elicits a differential response amenable to readout.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    & Phase-change materials for rewriteable data storage. Nature Mater. 6, 824–832 (2007).

  2. 2.

    & Nanoionics-based resistive switching memories. Nature Mater. 6, 833–840 (2007).

  3. 3.

    & Bit storage and bit flip operations in an electromechanical oscillator. Nature Nanotech. 3, 275–279 (2008).

  4. 4.

    , , & A nanometre-scale electronic switch consisting of a metal cluster and redox-addressable groups. Nature 408, 67–69 (2000).

  5. 5.

    , , , & Bistability in atomic-scale antiferromagnets. Science 335, 196–199 (2012).

  6. 6.

    et al. All-optical switch and transistor gated by one stored photon. Science 341, 768–770 (2013).

  7. 7.

    & Microfluidic bubble logic. Science 315, 832–835 (2007).

  8. 8.

    Molecular computation of solutions to combinatorial problems. Science 266, 1021–1024 (1994).

  9. 9.

    , & Nanosecond electro-optic switching of a liquid crystal. Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 107802 (2013).

  10. 10.

    et al. Reconfigurable 3D plasmonic metamolecules. Nature Mater. 13, 862–866 (2014).

  11. 11.

    , & A molecular photoionic AND gate based on fluorescent signaling. Nature 364, 42–44 (1993).

  12. 12.

    , , & Geometry-induced electrostatic trapping of nanometric objects in a fluid. Nature 467, 692–695 (2010).

  13. 13.

    Electrostatic free energy for a confined nanoscale object in a fluid. J. Chem. Phys. 138, 114906 (2013).

  14. 14.

    , , & Angular trapping of anisometric nano-objects in a fluid. Nano Lett. 12, 5791–5796 (2012).

  15. 15.

    & Electro-osmosis: velocity profiles in different geometries with both temporal and spatial resolution. J. Chem. Phys. 105, 10300–10311 (1996).

  16. 16.

    The Brownian movement of an ellipsoid—the dielectric dispersion of ellipsoidal molecules. Journal de Physique et le Radium 5, 497–511 (1934).

  17. 17.

    , , , & Brownian fluctuations and heating of an optically aligned gold nanorod. Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 037401 (2011).

  18. 18.

    & Unraveling the combined effects of dielectric and viscosity profiles on surface capacitance, electro-osmotic mobility, and electric surface conductivity. Langmuir 28, 16049–16059 (2012).

  19. 19.

    , & Surface-charge-governed ion transport in nanofluidic channels. Phys. Rev. Lett. 93, 035901 (2004).

  20. 20.

    Brownian motion in a field of force and the diffusion model of chemical reactions. Physica 7, 284–304 (1940).

  21. 21.

    Mechanical detection and measurement of the angular momentum of light. Phys. Rev. 50, 115–125 (1936).

  22. 22.

    , , & Optical alignment and spinning of laser-trapped microscopic particles. Nature 394, 348–350 (1998).

  23. 23.

    , , , & Dynamic manipulation of nanomechanical resonators in the high-amplitude regime and non-volatile mechanical memory operation. Nature Nanotech. 6, 726–732 (2011).

  24. 24.

    , , & Perfect reflection of light by an oscillating dipole. Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 180404 (2008).

  25. 25.

    et al. Optomechanically induced transparency. Science 330, 1520–1523 (2010).

  26. 26.

    et al. Metasurface holograms reaching 80% efficiency. Nature Nanotech. 10, 308–312 (2015).

  27. 27.

    , , & An electromechanically reconfigurable plasmonic metamaterial operating in the near-infrared. Nature Nanotech. 8, 252–255 (2013).

  28. 28.

    , , , & Nano-opto-mechanical effects in plasmonic waveguides. Laser Photon. Rev. 8, 131–136 (2014).

Download references

Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge financial support from the Swiss National Science Foundation and the University of Zurich. Nanofabrication was carried out at the FIRST Center for Micro- and Nanoscience, ETH Zurich.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Chemistry, Winterthurerstrasse 190, University of Zurich, CH 8057 Zurich, Switzerland

    • Christopher J. Myers
    •  & Madhavi Krishnan
  2. Department of Physics, Piazza Leonardo Da Vinci 32, Politecnico di Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy

    • Michele Celebrano
  3. Department of Physics, Winterthurerstrasse 190, University of Zurich, CH 8057 Zurich, Switzerland

    • Madhavi Krishnan

Authors

  1. Search for Christopher J. Myers in:

  2. Search for Michele Celebrano in:

  3. Search for Madhavi Krishnan in:

Contributions

C.J.M. and M.C. performed the experiments and analysed the data. M.K. conceived the project, designed the experiments and wrote the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Madhavi Krishnan.

Supplementary information

PDF files

  1. 1.

    Supplementary information

    Supplementary information

Videos

  1. 1.

    Supplementary information

    Supplementary Movie 1

  2. 2.

    Supplementary information

    Supplementary Movie 2

  3. 3.

    Supplementary information

    Supplementary Movie 3

  4. 4.

    Supplementary information

    Supplementary Movie 4

  5. 5.

    Supplementary information

    Supplementary Movie 5

  6. 6.

    Supplementary information

    Supplementary Movie 6

  7. 7.

    Supplementary information

    Supplementary Movie 7

About this article

Publication history

Received

Accepted

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2015.173

Further reading