Spintronics revisited with graphene

June 08, 2020 //By Julien Happich
Spintronics
An international team of researchers has published a new review on spintronics in graphene and other two-dimensional materials, anticipating new uses of graphene as a building block for next-generation electronics.

Spintronics is the combination of electronics and magnetism (via the spin of electrons), at the nanoscale, it is often touted as a viable alternative for nanoelectronics beyond Moore's law, offering higher energy efficiency and lower dissipation as compared to conventional electronics which solely relies on charge currents.


Graphene acts as an ideal spin-transport channel given its
long spin-relaxation length. In the center of the channel two
magnetic contacts are used to electrically inject or detect the
spin current. The need for magnetic contacts is circumvented
by using heterostructures of graphene and transition-metal
dichalcogenides, which enable direct optical spin injection
(top left) and direct charge-to-spin conversion (bottom right).
Credit: Reviews of Modern Physics (2020).
DOI: 10.1103/RevModPhys.92.021003

Published in the APS Journal Review of Modern Physics, the review focuses on the new perspectives provided by heterostructures and their emergent phenomena, including proximity-enabled spin-orbit effects, coupling spin to light, electrical tunability and 2-D magnetism.

"The continuous progress in graphene spintronics, and more broadly in 2-D heterostructures, has resulted in the efficient creation, transport, and detection of spin information using effects previously inaccessible to graphene alone. As efforts on both the fundamental and technological aspects continue, we believe that ballistic spin transport will be realized in 2-D heterostructures, even at room temperature. Such transport would enable practical use of the quantum mechanical properties of electron wave functions, bringing spins in 2-D materials to the service of future quantum computation approaches", said Dr. Ivan Vera Marun, Lecturer in Condensed Matter Physics at The University of Manchester.


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