Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Elusive spintronics success could lead to single chip for processing and memory

Date:
December 9, 2010
Source:
Queen Mary, University of London
Summary:
Researchers have shown that a magnetically polarized current can be manipulated by electric fields. This important discovery opens up the prospect of simultaneously processing and storing data on electrons held in the molecular structure of computer chips -- combining computer memory and processing power on the same chip.

Dr Alan Drew.
Credit: Image courtesy of Queen Mary, University of London

Researchers from Queen Mary, University of London (UK) and the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) have shown that a magnetically polarised current can be manipulated by electric fields.

Related Articles


Published this week in the journal Nature Materials, this important discovery opens up the prospect of simultaneously processing and storing data on electrons held in the molecular structure of computer chips -- combining computer memory and processing power on the same chip.

"This is especially exciting, as this discovery has been made with flexible organic semiconductors, which are set to be the new generation of displays for mobile devices, TVs and computer monitors, and could offer a step-change in power efficiency and reduced weight of these devices," said Dr Alan Drew, from Queen Mary's School of Physics, who led the research.

'Spintronics' -- spin transport electronics -- has rapidly become the universally used technology for computer hard disks. Designed in thin layers of magnetic and non-magnetic materials, Giant Magnetoresistive (GMR) spin valves use the magnetic properties, or 'spin', of electrons to detect computer data stored in magnetic bits. In contrast, computer processing relies on streams of electrically charged electrons flowing around a tiny circuit etched into a microchip.

Dr Drew and his team have investigated how layers of Lithium Fluoride (LiF) -- a material that has an intrinsic electric field -- can modify the spin of electrons transported through these spin valves. He explains: "While in theory, devices that combine electron charge and spin are conceptually straightforward, this is the first time anybody has shown it is possible to proactively control spin with electric fields."

Professor Christian Bernhard, from the University of Fribourg Physics Department, describes their successful technique: "Using the direct spectroscopic technique Low Energy Muon Spin Rotation (LE-μSR), our experiments have visualised the extracted spin polarisation close to buried interfaces of a spin valve."

The experiments were performed at the Paul Scherrer Institute, the only institution worldwide; where this technique is available. The method employs the magnetic properties of muons -- unstable subatomic particles. "In such an experiment the muons are shot into the material and when they decay, the decay products carry information about the magnetic processes inside the material," explains Professor Elvezio Morenzoni from PSI, where the technique has been developed. "The unique thing about low energy muons is that they can be placed specifically in a particular layer of a multi-layer system. Thus using this method one can study the magnetism in any single layer separately."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen Mary, University of London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. L. Schulz, L. Nuccio, M. Willis, P. Desai, P. Shakya, T. Kreouzis, V. K. Malik, C. Bernhard, F. L. Pratt, N. A. Morley, A. Suter, G. J. Nieuwenhuys, T. Prokscha, E. Morenzoni, W. P. Gillin, A. J. Drew. Engineering spin propagation across a hybrid organic/inorganic interface using a polar layer. Nature Materials, 2010; DOI: 10.1038/nmat2912

Cite This Page:

Queen Mary, University of London. "Elusive spintronics success could lead to single chip for processing and memory." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101208130052.htm>.
Queen Mary, University of London. (2010, December 9). Elusive spintronics success could lead to single chip for processing and memory. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101208130052.htm
Queen Mary, University of London. "Elusive spintronics success could lead to single chip for processing and memory." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101208130052.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Symantec Uncovers Sophisticated Spying Malware Regin

Symantec Uncovers Sophisticated Spying Malware Regin

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A Symantec white paper reveals details about Regin, a spying malware of unusual complexity which is believed to be state-sponsored. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hackers Target Business Travellers

Hackers Target Business Travellers

Reuters - Business Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) A newly detected malware, dubbed Darkhotel, infects hotel networks with spying software to steal sensitive data from the computers of high profile business executives, warns a leading computer security firm. Ciara Lee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Microsoft has robotic security guards working at its Silicon Valley Campus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
European Parliament Might Call For Google's Break-Up

European Parliament Might Call For Google's Break-Up

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) This is the latest development in an antitrust investigation accusing Google of unfairly prioritizing own products and services in search results. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins