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Elusive Spintronics Success Could Lead to Single Chip For Processing and Memory


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Alan Drew from Queen Mary's School of Physics

"This is especially exciting . . . and could offer a step-change in power efficiency and reduced weight of [flexible organic semiconductors]," says Alan Drew from Queen Mary's School of Physics.

Credit: Queen Mary, University of London

The proactive control of magnetically polarized current has been demonstrated for the first time by researchers at Queen Mary, University of London and the University of Fribourg. The team investigated how layers of lithium fluoride—a material that has an intrinsic electric field—can modify the spin of electrons transported through giant magnetoresistive (GMR) spin valves. "Using the direct spectroscopic technique Low Energy Muon Spin Rotation, our experiments have visualized the extracted spin polarization close to buried interfaces of a spin valve," says Fribourg professor Christian Bernhard.

The method uses the magnetic properties of muons. The muons are shot into the material and when they decay, the decay products carry information about the magnetic processes inside the material. The development raises the possibility of 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," says Queen Mary's Alan Drew.

From Queen Mary, University of London
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