University of Leicester is the co-ordinating partner
in an international project involving information
that can be stored on nano-particles.
The project, entitled Nanospin, aims to use the
novel properties of nanoparticles in the building
of new materials and devices and, looking even further
ahead, to functionalise the nanoparticles themselves,
by making them from more than one element, or as
core-shell structures, so that each is able to become
A simple example is a magnetic nanoparticle that
can store a single data bit of information by defining
the direction of its magnetisation. The data storage
density of modern computer disks is impressive but
if it becomes possible to store each data bit on
a single nanoparticle, then storage densities 100
times greater could be achieved. To put this into
context, such a nanoparticle medium could store about
2 million books, or a large library, on an area the
size of a postage stamp.
Nanospin partnership involves the Universities
of Leicester, Reading and Surrey (UK), NCSR "Demokritos" (Athens,
Greece), Sumy State University (Ukraine), CNR-ISM
Rome (Italy), Universitat de Barcelona (Spain) and
NT-MDT Co, Zelenograd (Russian Federation).
Binns, Professor of Nanoscience in the Department
of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leicester,
commented: "Nanotechnology, that is, the use
of structures whose dimensions are on the nanometre
scale to build new materials and devices, appears
to hold the key to future developments in a wide
range of technologies, including materials, science,
information technology and healthcare.
important aspect of nanotechnology is the recognition
that sufficiently small pieces of matter (nanoparticles)
have electronic magnetic and optical properties
that are different from the bulk material.
addition, their properties are size-dependent and
so nanoparticles can be considered as new building
blocks of matter or 'giant atoms', whose properties
can be tailored."
information is available from Chris Binns, Professor
of Nanoscience, Department of Physics and Astronomy,
University of Leicester, tel +44 (0)116 252 3585,
Director of Press and Publications
University of Leicester
tel: 0116 252 3335
Looking for an expert? Try http://www.le.ac.uk/press/experts/intro.html
THE UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER
The University of Leicester is the UK's top ranked
University for teaching quality and overall satisfaction
amongst universities teaching full time students
and was rated joint 1st in the UK in the 2005 National
Student Survey. Founded in 1921, the University of
Leicester has 19,000 students from 120 countries.
Teaching in 18 subject areas has been graded Excellent
by the Quality Assurance Agency- including 14 successive
scores - a consistent run of success matched by just
one other UK University.
Leicester is world renowned for the invention of
DNA Fingerprinting by Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys
and houses Europe's biggest academic Space Research
Centre. 90% of staff are actively engaged in high
quality research and 13 subject areas have been awarded
the highest rating of 5* and 5 for research quality,
demonstrating excellence at an international level.
The University's research grant income places it
among the top 20 UK research universities.
University employs over 3,000 people, has a turnover
of £167.5m, covers an estate of 94
hectares and is engaged in a £300m investment
programme- among the biggest of any UK university.