Researchers have developed a graphene-based spin field-effect transistor operating at room temperature with findings published in in Nature Communications.
The development is said to be a step towards integrating spintronic logic and memory devices. If we look at current semiconductor logic devices within our computers, they use the flow and control of electronic charge for information processing.
Spintronic memory devices on the other hand use the intrinsic properties of electron spin to store information. For future devices, researchers are searching for ways to integrate both information processing and storage in one device unit.
“Graphene is an excellent medium for spin transport at room temperature, due to its low atomic mass. However, an unsolved challenge was to control the spin current at ambient temperature” explains Saroj Dash, group leader and Associate Professor at Chalmers University of Technology.
The Graphene Flagship researchers Andre Dankert and Saroj Dash have now shown that it is possible to electrically manipulate the spin properties of graphene in a controlled manner at room temperature. This not only could open many new possibilities in spin logic operations but also integration with magnetic memory elements in a single device. With further developments, if one could produce a spin current without charge flow, this will require far less power and lead to more versatile devices. This is especially important as we move more and more toward hand held mobile computing.
Graphene has been shown to transport spin over long distances by several Flagship Groups. Combining graphene with another layered material where spin lasts much less time can produce a spin field-effect transistor like device.