A step forward for ultrafast spintronics

Sep 06, 2012

(Phys.org)—In spin based electronics the spin of the electron is used as a carrier of information. To meet the need for faster electronics, the speed must be increased as far as possible. Today, Uppsala physicists show in the magazine Nature Communications how spin information can be transmitted using spin currents at terahertz speeds – a thousand times faster than today.

In today's charge based electronics the electrons' charges are used to carry information. One downside to this technology is the significant that arises due to charging currents. If the electrons' spin is used as information carrier instead, it is possible to achieve much more energy efficient electronic components, which is the goal of the so called .

In order to realize the goal of spintronics, it is necessary to have controllable transport of spin in . At the same time, spintronic operations must be performed as quickly as possible.

Three scientists at Uppsala University, Marco Battiato, Pablo Maldonado and Peter Oppeneer, together with in Germany and the US, have shown how spin currents can be generated and transferred from one nano scale metal layer to another in less than a picosecond (10–12 seconds). Ultra-short (at femtosecond scale, 10–15 seconds) are used to create spin currents that move super-fast through the nanostructured layers and transfer the spin.

'Since the generated spin currents transport the spin magnetic moment in just a few femtoseconds, new technology is needed to detect them. We succeded to do so by using ultra-short x-ray flashes with a pulse length of just a few femtoseconds', says Peter Oppeneer, who leads the spintronic research at Uppsala University.

Spin magnetic moments were measured using magnetic x-ray spectroscopy which made it possible for the first time to see the spin dynamic processes that previously have been invisible. The Uppsala scientists developed a basic theory for these superdiffusive spin currents, which now have turned out to be the cause of ultra-fast spin dynamics.

'A distinguishing feature of super-fast spin currents is that they are caused by non-equilibrium processes, which is also the reason for their higher speed. With our discovery we have paved the way for future development of high-speed spintronics', says Peter Oppeneer.

Explore further: Tiny particles have big potential in debate over nuclear proliferation

More information: Ultrafast magnetization enhancement in metallic multilayers driven by superdiffusive spin current, Dennis Rudolf, Chan La-O-Vorakiat, Marco Battiato, Roman Adam, Justin M Shaw et al., Nature Communications, 2012.

Related Stories

Research reveals vital insight into spintronics

Jul 03, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Progress in electronics has relied heavily on reducing the size of the transistor to create small, powerful computers. Now spintronics, hailed as the successor to the transistor, looks set ...

Moving forward, spin goes sideways

Oct 07, 2011

Building electronic devices that work without needing to actually transport electrons is a goal of spintronics researchers, since this could lead to: reduced power consumption, lower levels of signal noise, faster ...

Spin-polarized electrons on demand

Jan 21, 2009

Many hopes are pinned on spintronics. In the future it could replace electronics, which in the race to produce increasingly rapid computer components, must at sometime reach its limits. Different from electronics, where whole ...

Spin polarization achieved in room temperature silicon

Nov 27, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- A group in The Netherlands has achieved a first: injection of spin-polarized electrons in silicon at room temperature. This has previously been observed only at extremely low temperatures, ...

Recommended for you

How bubble studies benefit science and engineering

54 minutes ago

The image above shows a perfect bubble imploding in weightlessness. This bubble, and many like it, are produced by the researchers from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. What ...

Famous Feynman lectures put online with free access

1 hour ago

(Phys.org) —Back in the early sixties, physicist Richard Feynman gave a series of lectures on physics to first year students at Caltech—those lectures were subsequently put into print and made into text ...

Single laser stops molecular tumbling motion instantly

5 hours ago

In the quantum world, making the simple atom behave is one thing, but making the more complex molecule behave is another story. Now Northwestern University scientists have figured out an elegant way to stop a molecule from ...

What time is it in the universe?

Aug 29, 2014

Flavor Flav knows what time it is. At least he does for Flavor Flav. Even with all his moving and accelerating, with the planet, the solar system, getting on planes, taking elevators, and perhaps even some ...

User comments : 0