Spintronics

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What is Spintronics?

Spintronics is an emerging alternative to old traditional and conventional electronics. The word is a portmanteau of electronics and spin which implies spin transport electronics. For carrying information, this process uses the electron’s spin.

Spintronics refers to the study of nuclear’s role or a particular electron’s role in solid-state and possible devices' physics. This kind of electronics device mainly exploits the spin properties along with the freedom of charge degrees. 

Also called as spin Flextronics, this technology studies the electron spin intrinsically and the magnetic moment associated with it and the basic electronic charge in the devices in their solid-state

In the University of Maryland, the efforts involved in spintronics research includes the following:

  • Creating polarization of spin through magnetic or optical injection

  • Transporting spin-polarized through superconductor or semiconductor interfaces

  • Spin relaxation in semiconductors and metals

  • Devices based on spin technology such as amplifiers etc

  • Quantum computation that is based on spin electronics and entanglement of electrons in the semiconductor.

Approaches of Spintronics

Polarized electrons and external magnetic fieldS control the spin of the electron and eventually, it controls the electric current. It aims to manipulate the magnetism of electrons in the semiconductor and provide functionality and versatility to the products that will emerge in the future. There are two fundamental approaches to spintronics, namely:


1. Metal-based Spintronics

This effect commonly involves giant magnetoresistance devices. In this process, the current is passed through ferromagnetic material that is divided by a spacer layer. When these layers are aligned instead of anti-aligned, the electrical resistance is comparatively lower


2. Semiconductor Spintronics

Semiconductor spintronics manipulates dynamics in a spin with non-magnetic materials and provides probabilities in metal systems. This has an impact on technology and develops an MRAM technology that is based on magnetic semiconductors.


Importance of Spintronics

This is a quintessential and trending research area and high capability and potential. Spintronics provides high speed, high power lasers, lower threshold current, high-density logic, low power, electronic memory devices, optoelectronic devices. This technology is an immense source for polarized light that is circular.


Spin Electronics Devices

The devices that use electrons' properties for storing, processing, and transmitting information are spintronic and electronic devices. For encoding data, electronic devices normally use electrical charge present in an electron. In contrast, the spintronic devices use spin that is the electron's intrinsic angular momentum to encode the data.

The examples include Spin torque wave generators, macrospin approximation.

Following are the latest research in spintronic devices:

  • A half adder built based on spin waves

  • Long-distance spin transport 

  • Robust quantum point contact operation

  • Topological valley currents

  • Optical control of the valley Suppression of the field

  • Quenching an antiferromagnet into a high resistive state

Spintronics Applications

Spintronics is an emerging science yet a very trendy one. It has become popular in a very short span of time and is used in many applications such as:

  • It is widely used in mass storage devices due to its capacity for compressing a massive amount of data into a very small area.

  • It has become a very effective tool to detect cancer in medical science.

  • Spintronic devices are an ancillary to digital electronics. Hard drives being the foremost example of the same.

  • Semiconductor spintronics, when integrated with conventional technology, can be used as spin valves and spin polarizers.

  • Spin transistors are known to run on electron spin as incorporating a two-state quantum system.

  • Electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy that is applied in Chemistry and Physics.

  • This technology is applied in chemistry in the form of Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

  • Spin based computers apply modern nanofabrication techniques where electron motion gets quantized in almost all the directions while conducting electrons are limited to nanometer distance.

  • Electron transport in DNA is one of the remarkable research that is being done in this field.

Future of Spintronics

A fascinating as well as challenging area of nanotechnology spintronic does have an impact on industrial application and scientific research. The electron spin has many untapped potentials to be explored in the future and has a great impact on the lives on earth. Significant progress is gradually being conducted in the science and technology of spintronics.

Gradually the world is shifting to spin electronics from traditional electronics. A new generation of spintronic devices is being created with optical, electrical, and revolutionary properties.


Conclusion

The combination of magnetics, photonics, and electronics have emerged into multifunctional spin-based devices such as spin field-effect transistors, spin light-emitting diodes, spin resonant tunnelling devices, optical switches, and the list goes on.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is a Spintronic Device?

Ans: Spin electronics is the newest area of research, development, and analysis. This is a combination science of electronics and magnetism. The spin electronics aim to develop new functions and new devices through quantum characteristics of the electrons. The spintronic device is made of magnetic layers that provide analyzers or spin polarizers. Non-magnetic layers separate these. Through these layers, the transmission of spin-polarized electrons is performed. The magnetic nanostructures are magnetized and manipulated in a very new way through a spin-polarized current

Spin electronics is applied in the hard disk drive, magnetic random access memory, hybrid complementary metal oxide semiconductor, etc.

2. What is Spin-polarized Current?

Ans: The degree to which the elementary particles and their intrinsic angular momentum are aligned to a particular direction is called spin polarization. This property of the magnetic moment or the spin in the conduction electrons leads to spin-polarized currents. This normally functions in ferromagnetic metals such as iron, etc.

3. How is Spin Measured?

Ans: Polarization is the measurement of the spin of a photon. When a single photon is measured with linear polarization on any axis, it gets aligned only to the axis or perpendicular to the axis. When we measure photons' linear polarization along any other axis, then there are two probabilities of results. It is observed that when spin is measured along different axes, they are not compatible.