(WASHINGTON) -- Researchers in the Materials Science and Technology division of the Naval Research Laboratory have recently demonstrated electrical injection, detection and precession of spin accumulation in silicon, the cornerstone material of modern device technology, at temperatures up to 225 degrees Celsius. These results provide the first demonstration that spin accumulation in Si is viable as a basis for practical devices which meet the operating temperatures specified for commercial (85˚C), industrial (100˚C) and military (125˚C) applications. This is a key enabling step for developing devices which rely on electron spin rather than electron charge, an approach known as semiconductor spintronics that is expected to provide devices with higher performance, lower power consumption and less heat dissipation. The complete findings of this study titled, "Electrical injection and detection of spin accumulation in silicon at 500K with magnetic metal / silicon dioxide contacts" are published in the 22 March 2011 issue of Nature Communications 2:245 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1256 (2011).
The electron possesses an internal angular momentum called the spin. The International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors has identified the electron's spin as a new state variable that should be explored as an alternative to the electron's charge for use beyond Moore's Law, a projection named after Intel co-founder Gordon E. Moore. Moore predicted in 1965 that the number of transistors per unit area in an integrated circuit would double approximately every two years as advances in fabrication technology enabled the devices to be made smaller. Although this approach has been remarkably successful, critical device dimensions now approach atomic length scales, so that further size scaling becomes untenable. "Researchers have been forced to look beyond the simple reduction of size to develop future generations of electronic devices," states NRL senior
|Contact: Daniel Parry|
Naval Research Laboratory