APPLIED PHYSICS: Spin Control in Stereo

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Science  02 Nov 2007:
Vol. 318, Issue 5851, pp. 717e
DOI: 10.1126/science.318.5851.717e

Encoding and processing information in terms of electron spin is being pursued as a low-power, high-speed alternative to present current-based microprocessing circuitry. Introducing spin with a specified polarization, or magnetic orientation, into a nonmagnetic wire is typically achieved by injection from a ferromagnetic injector. With just a single injection contact, however, the polarization of the accumulated spin is fixed and dependent on the magnetization state of the ferromagnetic injector. Altering the orientation of the spin-injected current then generally requires the application of a magnetic field, presenting an undesirably large drain on power. Kimura et al. show that by using two permalloy spin injectors of opposite magnetization positioned at an angle on either side of a nonmagnetic copper wire, they can control the direction of spin accumulation electrically and continuously by varying the amount of injected spin from each injector. This electrical control of spin accumulation presents a great simplification for further development of spintronics circuitry. — ISO

Phys. Rev. Lett. 99 166601 (2007).

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