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First high-temp spin-field-effect transistor developed

By Nairita Das

Washington, Dec 24 (ANI): Texas A and M University physicist Jairo Sinova has achieved a breakthrough in semiconductor nanoelectronics - he has announced the development of an electrically controllable device whose functionality is based on an electron's spin.

He along with others 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.

"One of the major stumbling blocks was that to manipulate spin, one may also destroy it. 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," said Sinova.

"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," he added.

The new development constitutes the field of "spintronics," which promises potential advances in low-power electronics, hybrid electronic-magnetic systems and completely new functionalities.

"We used recently discovered quantum-relativistic phenomena for both spin manipulation and detection to realize and confirm all the principal phenomena of the spin transistor concept," said Hitachi's Dr. Jorg Wunderlich.

The new device can have a broad range of applications in spintronics research as an efficient tool for manipulating and detecting spins in semiconductors without disturbing the spin-polarized current or using magnetic elements.

Hitachi now plans to develop new functionalities for use in fields as diverse as energy transfer, high-speed secure communications and various forms of sensor.

"For now, the device aspect - the ability to inject, manipulate and create a logic step with spin alone - has been achieved, and I am happy that Texas A and M University is a part of that accomplishment," said Sinova.

The article appears in Science. (ANI)

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