What is Spintronics?
Spintronics or spin electronics is the study of the role that is played by the spin of an electron in the solid state physics and other devices that exploit spin properties. Spintronics is also known as spin Flextronics is the study of the intrinsic spin of the electrons and its associated magnetic moment, in addition to fundamental electronic charge in solid state devices. For example, spin transport and spin relaxation in semiconductors and metals are important solid state physics issues which are included in the fundamental research along with new technology being implemented in the electronic storage technology.
Spintronics helped in creating a prototype device which used in industry as a read head and a memory-storage cell is the giant-magneto resistive (GMR) sandwich structure which consists of alternating ferromagnetic and nonmagnetic metal layers. Depending on the relative orientation of the magnetizations in the magnetic layers, the device resistance changes from small (parallel magnetizations) to large (antiparallel magnetizations).
This change in resistance (also called magnetoresistance) is used to sense changes in magnetic fieldsElectron spin can be identified as a magnetic field having one of two positions, known as up and down. This gives an extra two binary states to the conventional high and low logic values, which are represented by simple currents. When the spin state is added to the mix, a bit can have four possible states, which can be called as up-high, up-low, down-high and down- low. These four states represent quantum bits or qubits.
Applications of Spintronics
Some spintronics applications are given below:
- Spintronic devices are used in the field of mass-storage devices. It is used to compress massive amounts of data into a small area, as an instance, approximately one trillion bits per square inch (1.5 Gbit/mm²) or roughly 1 TB data can be stored on a single sided 3.5″ diameter disc.
- Spintronics is also used in the medical field to detect cancer.
- Spintronic technology in general holds promises for digital electronics. It has been tested in mass-storage components namely hard drives.
Future Works in Spintonics
- Creation of spin polarization through optical or magnetic injection
- Spin-polarized Transport through semiconductor/superconductor interfaces
- Spin relaxation in metals and semiconductors
- Spin-based devices such as PN junctions and amplifiers
- Spin-based quantum computation and electron entanglement in different semiconductor devices
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