Scientists at the University of Basel together with the Japanese and Finnish colleagues were able to place 20 individual atoms on a fully insulated surface at room temperature with the formation of the figures of the "Swiss cross".
Such atomic manipulation is a big leap for the atomic-scale storage devices. An international team of researchers, led by Shigeki Kawai and Ernst Meyer introduced the first successful system the placement of atoms on an insulating surface at room temperatures.
Using atomic force microscope, they put the individual atoms of bromine on the surface of sodium chloride, creating the shape of the Swiss cross. A tiny cross made of 20 atoms of bromine and created by exchanging chlorine atoms with bromine atoms. It covers an area of 5.6 nanometers and represents the largest number of atomic manipulations ever achieved at room temperature.