Armchair nanoribbons made into spintronic device

January 25, 2011

In a development that may revolutionize handheld electronics, flat-panel displays, touch panels, electronic ink, and solar cells, as well as drastically reduce their manufacturing costs, physicists in Iran have created a spintronic device based on "armchair" graphene nanoribbons. Spintronic devices are being pursued by the semiconductor and electronics industries because they promise to be smaller, more versatile, and much faster than today's electronics.

As described in the American Institute of Physics journal , nanoribbons such as these could one day replace -- an expensive material for which researchers have been searching for suitable substitutes.

Nanoribbons are carbon nanotubes that have been "unzipped" using a room-temperature chemical process to produce ultrathin, flat ribbons of straight-edged sheets of graphene. Finite, narrow strips of graphene are cut out from a two-dimensional sheet of graphene to create the nanoribbons. And depending on how the ribbon is cut out, it results in either an "armchair" or a zigzag edge. An armchair ribbon can be thought of as essentially an unrolled zigzag nanotube.

"We proposed an electronic spin-filter device using nonmagnetic materials. Our system, which is an all-carbon device, passes only one type of spin current," says Alireza Saffarzadeh, an associate professor in the Department of Physics at Payame Noor University. This property is due to the finite-size effect and geometry of the zigzag-edge graphene nanoribbons, Saffarzadeh explains.

"By applying a gate voltage, the type of spin current can be switched from spin-up to spin-down or vice versa," Saffarzadeh says. "For this reason, the system acts as a spin switch. And these properties are useful in spintronic applications, such as magnetic ."

Saffarzadeh and colleague Roohala Farghadan, a Ph.D. student in Tarbiat Modares University's Department of Physics, found that nanoribbons are good candidates for electronic and spintronic devices due to high carrier mobility, long spin-relaxation times and lengths, and spin-filtering abilities.

Explore further: Spintronic transistor is developed

More information: The article, "A spin-filter device based on armchair graphene nanoribbons," by A. Saffarazadeh and R. Farghadan appears in the journal Applied Physics Letters. See: link.aip.org/link/applab/v98/i2/p023106/s1

Related Stories

Spintronic transistor is developed

October 23, 2005

Researcher Christian Schoenenberger and colleagues at the University of Basel, Switzerland, developed a carbon nanotube transistor, opening a promising avenue toward the introduction of spin-based devices into computer chips, ...

Rice researchers unzip the future

April 15, 2009

Scientists at Rice University have found a simple way to create basic elements for aircraft, flat-screen TVs, electronics and other products that incorporate sheets of tough, electrically conductive material.

Can graphene nanoribbons replace silicon?

February 18, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- "Graphene has been the subject of intense focus and research for a few years now," Philip Kim tells PhysOrg.com. "There are researchers that feel that it is possible that graphene could replace silicon as ...

The noise about graphene

October 15, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- In last week’s announcement of the Nobel Prize in Physics, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences lauded graphene’s "exceptional properties that originate from the remarkable world of quantum physics." ...

Recommended for you

For 2-D boron, it's all about that base

September 2, 2015

Rice University scientists have theoretically determined that the properties of atom-thick sheets of boron depend on where those atoms land.

Electrical circuit made of gel can repair itself

August 25, 2015

(Phys.org)—Scientists have fabricated a flexible electrical circuit that, when cut into two pieces, can repair itself and fully restore its original conductivity. The circuit is made of a new gel that possesses a combination ...

An engineered surface unsticks sticky water droplets

August 31, 2015

The leaves of the lotus flower, and other natural surfaces that repel water and dirt, have been the model for many types of engineered liquid-repelling surfaces. As slippery as these surfaces are, however, tiny water droplets ...

Scientists grow high-quality graphene from tea tree extract

August 21, 2015

(Phys.org)—Graphene has been grown from materials as diverse as plastic, cockroaches, Girl Scout cookies, and dog feces, and can theoretically be grown from any carbon source. However, scientists are still looking for a ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.