COLLEGE STATION, Dec. 23, 2010 An international team of researchers featuring Texas A&M University physicist Jairo Sinova has announced a breakthrough that gives a new spin to semiconductor nanoelectronics and the world of information technology.
The team has developed an electrically controllable device whose functionality is based on an electron's spin. Their results, the culmination of a 20-year scientific quest involving many international researchers and groups, are published in the current issue of Science.
The team, which also includes researchers from the Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory and the Universities of Cambridge and Nottingham in the United Kingdom as well as the Academy of Sciences and Charles University in the Czech Republic, is the first to combine the spin-helix state and anomalous Hall effect to create a realistic spin-field-effect transistor (FET) operable at high temperatures, complete with an AND-gate logic device the first such realization in the type of transistors originally proposed by Purdue University's Supriyo Datta and Biswajit Das in 1989.
"One of the major stumbling blocks was that to manipulate spin, one may also destroy it," Sinova explains. "It has only recently been realized that one could manipulate it without destroying it by choosing a particular set-up for the device and manipulating the material. One also has to detect it without destroying it, which we were able to do by exploiting our findings from our study of the spin Hall effect six years ago. It is the combination of these basic physics research projects that has given rise to the first spin-FET."
Sixty years after the transistor's discovery, its operation is still based on the same physical principles of electrical manipulation and detection of electronic charges in a semiconductor, says Hitachi's Dr. Jorg Wunderlich, senior researcher in the team. He says subsequent technology has focused on down-scaling the device size
|Contact: Jairo Sinova|
Texas A&M University