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Spintronics: How Does It Revolutionize Electronic Devices?

Electronic Devices

  • 1. Based on the properties of charge of the electron

  • 2. Classical property

  • 4. Materials: conductors and semiconductors

  • 5. Based on the number of charges and their energy

  • 6. Speed is limited, and power dissipation is high.

Spintronics devices

  • 1. Based on intrinsic property spin of the electron.

  • 2. Quantum property

  • 4. Materials: ferromagnetic materials

  • 5. Two basic spin states; spin-up and spin-down.

  • 6. Based on the direction of spin and spin coupling, high speed.

Imagine a data storage device of the size of an atom working at the speed of light. Imagine a computer memory thousands of times denser and faster than today‘s memories and also imagine a scanner technique that can detect cancer cells even though they are less in number. The above-mentioned things can be made possible with the help of an exploding science ―Spintronics. Spintronics is a technology that deals with the spin-dependent properties of an electron instead of or in addition to its charge-dependent properties. Conventional electronics devices rely on the transport of electric charge carriers and electrons. But there are other dimensions of an electron other than its charge and mass i.e. spin. This dimension can be exploited to create a remarkable generation of spintronics devices. It is believed that in the near future spintronics could be more revolutionary than any other technology.

spin change
spin change

The basic materials used in spin devices for manipulation of spin of electrons are the ferromagnetic which have the capability to change the spin polarization on application of magnetic fields. The spin materials can be classified into two groups:

  •  Ferromagnetic Semiconductors

  •  Half-Magnetic ferromagnets

Ferromagnetic Semiconductors

These are the materials with complete control over the spin electron. The main advantages of these types of materials are:

 Combined semiconducting and magnetic properties for multiple functionalities

 Easy growth of ferromagnetic-semiconductor nanostructures.

 Easy spin injection

Half-Magnetic ferromagnets

As name suggests the half – magnetic ferromagnets doesn’t have full control over spin of the electrons. The spin materials can be obtained as: - Substitution of V, Cr and Mn into GaAs, InAs,GaSb,GaP and InP.

Applications include:

• Fast accurate position and motion sensing of mechanical components in precision engineering

and in robotics

• All kinds of automotive sensors for fuel handling systems, electronic engine control, antiskid

systems, speed control and navigation

• Missile guidance

• Position and motion sensing in computer video games

• Key-hole surgery and post-operative care

Some of the Spintronic devices are:

  • Magnetoresistive Random Access Memory (MRAM)

  • Spin Transistor

  • Quantum Computer

  • Spintronic scanner

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