Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > ERC Grant for spintronics: Spinning electrons as information carriers

Abstract:
Electrons spin around their own axis, a property that could form the basis of futuristic high-speed, low-cost electronics. Researcher Michel de Jong of the NanoElectronics group (MESA+) plans to base these "spintronics" on organic materials. He has obtained a Starting Grant of 1.5 million from the European Research Council to fund this work.

ERC Grant for spintronics: Spinning electrons as information carriers

The Netherlands | Posted on January 20th, 2012

This is the second major ERC Grant to be awarded to Prof. Wilfred van der Wiel's group. The professor himself obtained a similar European grant in 2009. So this area of research seems to be attracting considerable attention. This new approach may represent a decisive step towards the next generation of electronic components, which will be more compact, faster, and cheaper.

The beauty of an electron's spin is that it responds very rapidly to small magnetic fields. Such external magnetic fields can be used to reverse the direction of spin. In this way, information can be carried by a flow of electrons. For instance, electrons with a left-hand spin could represent a "1", and those with a right-hand spin, a "0". It takes less time to flip the spin direction than it does to switch a current on or off. Accordingly, spintronics could potentially be very fast and extremely compact.

Organic materials

However, this would require a material that combines the characteristics of a semiconductor (such as silicon, the most widely used material in the chip industry) with magnetic properties. Research in this area (including work by Michel de Jong) has already delivered results. However, finding materials with this combination of properties is far from simple. For this reason, Michel de Jong is now hunting for an alternative. He is focusing on semiconductors consisting of carbohydrate chains, in other words, organic materials. "Such materials are already being used in the displays of the latest smart phones. Indeed, they are very much the 'in' thing. I expect it will ultimately be possible to make very cheap electronics from these materials, leading to a wide range of new applications. For instance, if supermarkets want to tag their products with pricing information, then the electronics involved will have to cost next to nothing."

Buckyballs

De Jong has been experimenting with buckyballs (spherical C60 molecules held together by weak bonds) sandwiched between two magnetic materials. "The great advantage of these molecules is that they have very little effect on electron spin. This enables them to store spin information for much longer periods of time than silicon." Depending on the orientation of the magnetic field in the upper and lower layers of magnetic material, electrons with the same direction of spin are either allowed through or held back, as if a valve were being opened or closed. This would make it possible to create sensitive magnetic sensors, for example. The "sandwich" might also form the basis for new electronic components that make use of spin.

"If we are to make truly effective components, we will need a detailed understanding of events at the interface between the magnetic and organic materials. However, this will require improvements in the quality of such interfaces. The current techniques for applying metallic layers to organic layers do not produce good interconnections. The organic material contains cavities that can fill with metal. This results in unpredictable behaviour. Over the next five years we will be seeking to improve the manufacturing process. This will help us to understand what exactly happens at the interface. I propose to use part of the ERC Grant for this purpose. It will enable me to take on two PhD students and a postdoctoral researcher."

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Wiebe van der Veen
tel. +31-(0)53-4894244

Copyright © University of Twente

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Ag/ZnO-Nanorods Schottky diodes based UV-PDs are fabricated and tested May 26th, 2017

New metamaterial-enhanced MRI technique tested on humans May 26th, 2017

Controlling 3-D behavior of biological cells using laser holographic techniques May 26th, 2017

Unveiling the quantum necklace: Researchers simulate quantum necklace-like structures in superfluids May 26th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

New metamaterial-enhanced MRI technique tested on humans May 26th, 2017

Controlling 3-D behavior of biological cells using laser holographic techniques May 26th, 2017

Unveiling the quantum necklace: Researchers simulate quantum necklace-like structures in superfluids May 26th, 2017

Researchers find new way to control light with electric fields May 25th, 2017

Spintronics

Smart multi-layered magnetic material acts as an electric switch: New study reveals characteristic of islands of magnetic metals between vacuum gaps, displaying tunnelling electric current March 1st, 2017

First experimental proof of a 70 year old physics theory: First observation of magnetic phase transition in 2-D materials, as predicted by the Nobel winner Onsager in 1943 January 6th, 2017

Investigations of the skyrmion Hall effect reveal surprising results: One step further towards the application of skyrmions in spintronic devices December 28th, 2016

Electron highway inside crystal December 12th, 2016

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes/Nanorods

Ag/ZnO-Nanorods Schottky diodes based UV-PDs are fabricated and tested May 26th, 2017

Fed grant backs nanofiber development: Rice University joins Department of Energy 'Next Generation Machines' initiative May 10th, 2017

Nanotubes that build themselves April 14th, 2017

Intertronics introduce new nanoparticle deagglomeration technology March 15th, 2017

Announcements

Ag/ZnO-Nanorods Schottky diodes based UV-PDs are fabricated and tested May 26th, 2017

New metamaterial-enhanced MRI technique tested on humans May 26th, 2017

Controlling 3-D behavior of biological cells using laser holographic techniques May 26th, 2017

Unveiling the quantum necklace: Researchers simulate quantum necklace-like structures in superfluids May 26th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project