Dr. Scott Simpson, assistant professor of chemistry, had an article published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Physical Chemistry C. Published on November 30, 2016, the article investigated how to theoretically model iron porphyrin on a metal surface. Simpson’s research determined that this molecule can be switched between two spin states, similar to how a light switch is turned on and off.
“These molecules (porphyrins) have great potential to be used as molecular spintronics,” Simpson said. “Understanding and determining molecules that can be spintronics is necessary for producing quantum computers. Quantum computers have the potential to perform calculations faster than currently used silicon-based computers.” Simpson said the findings are important not only because of the speed of the computers, but also the size of them. “Current computers have a size restriction due to the physical limitations of the transistors that are used in them,” he said. “However, quantum computers can get past this limitation.”
Simpson worked with collaborators from the University at Buffalo (notably, Dan Miller and Prof. Eva Zurek), Jagiellonian University in Poland, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Penn State-Behrend, and the Univerität Bayreuth in Germany.