The first new development is IBM research in understanding the ability for single atoms to maintain a specific magnetic direction, making them suitable for future data storage applications, said IBM.
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The second development is a logic switch between individual atoms within a molecule and between molecules, delivering potential building blocks for molecular computers.
In 1981, IBM scientists won the Nobel Prize in physics for their design of the Scanning Tunnelling Microscope (STM), which allowed the study of individual atoms for the first time.
IBM then developed the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) in 1986 to allow researchers to explore and manipulate materials at the atomic level.