SPINTRONICS

Make way for liquid spintronics

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Science  20 Nov 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6263, pp. 924-925
DOI: 10.1126/science.350.6263.924-d

In addition to charge, electrons have another degree of freedom: spin, a type of quantum-mechanical angular momentum. In the same way that conventional electronics requires a power source, spin-based electronics (“spintronics”) needs a source of spin current. To achieve this, researchers typically use magnets. Takahashi et al. now show that all you need is a flowing liquid metal in which mechanical motion is coupled with spin. For this demonstration, they used mercury flowing through a cylindrical quartz pipe. The vorticity of the liquid flow acted as a source of spin current, which was detected as electrical voltage. The discovery may enable fluid spintronic devices.

Nat. Phys. 10.1038/nphys3526 (2015).

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