In a first-of-its-kind achievement, U.S. scientists say they've directly imaged the interactions between two magnetic atoms less than one nanometer apart.

Researchers at the University of Iowa, the University of Illinois- Champaign and Princeton University said their findings bring scientists one step closer toward realizing the goal of building a very advanced semiconductor computer chip.

Such a chip would be based upon a property of the electron called "spin" and the related technology of "spintronics," said Michael Flatté, a professor in the University of Iowa's department of physics and astronomy.

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