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Researchers advance toward hybrid spintronic computer chips
Date:4/13/2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio Researchers here have created the first electronic circuit to merge traditional inorganic semiconductors with organic "spintronics" devices that utilize the spin of electrons to read, write and manipulate data.

Ezekiel Johnston-Halperin, assistant professor of physics, and his team combined an inorganic semiconductor with a unique plastic material that is under development in colleague Arthur J. Epstein's lab at Ohio State University.

Last year, Epstein, Distinguished University Professor of physics and chemistry and director of the Institute for Magnetic and Electronic Polymers at Ohio State, demonstrated the first successful data storage and retrieval on a plastic spintronic device.

Now Johnston-Halperin, Epstein, and their colleagues have incorporated the plastic device into a traditional circuit based on gallium arsenide. Two of their now-former doctoral students, Lei Fang and Deniz Bozdag, had to devise a new fabrication technique to make the device.

In a paper published online today in the journal Physical Review Letters, they describe how they transmitted a spin-polarized electrical current from the plastic material, through the gallium arsenide, and into a light-emitting diode (LED) as proof that the organic and inorganic parts were working together.

"Hybrid structures promise functionality that no other materials, neither organic nor inorganic, can currently achieve alone," Johnston-Halperin said. "We've opened the door to linking this exciting new material to traditional electronic devices with transistor and logic functionality. In the longer term this work promises new, chemically based functionality for spintronic devices."

Normal electronics encode computer data based on a binary code of ones and zeros, depending on whether an electron is present or not within the material. But researchers have long known that electrons can be polarized to orient in particular directions
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Contact: Ezekiel Johnston-Halperin
Johnston-halperi.1@osu.edu
614-247-4074
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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