Making graphene useful for spintronics

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Science  12 Oct 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6411, pp. 195-196
DOI: 10.1126/science.362.6411.195-c

Thanks to graphene's weak spin-orbit coupling, spin currents flow through it unimpeded. However, this also means that the spin currents are hard to manipulate—a drawback for using graphene in spintronics. Two groups now show that this needn't be the case. Leutenantsmeyer et al. and Xu et al. studied spin transport in heterostructures of bilayer graphene with hexagonal boron nitride. In the presence of an electric field, the spin lifetimes in the directions parallel to the heterostructural layers and perpendicular to them were markedly different. The long and anisotropic lifetimes may lead to useful spintronics applications.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 121, 127702, 127703 (2018).

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