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Spins flip magnetic bits

  October 13/20, 2008
Find a way to make the spins of electrons flow rather than their charges and you're on your way to making fast, low-power computer circuits and data storage devices.

Researchers have been working on spintronics for years but so far the devices have been inefficient at producing spin-only currents. An improved spin valve produces a 10-times stronger spin current, strong enough to reverse the magnetization of a nanoscale magnet as efficiently as electricity.

The spin valve could be used to make fast, efficient computer memory and could lead to circuits that combining data processing and data storage.

Research paper:
Giant Spin-Accumulation Signal and Pure Spin-Current-Induced Reversible Magnetization Switching
Nature Physics, published online October 5, 2008

Researchers' homepage:
Quantum Nano-Scale Magnetics Laboratory, Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN)

Related stories and briefs:
Electrons spin magnetic fields -- precursor research

Back to TRN October 13/20, 2008

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