Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Spintronics 'miracle material' put to the test: Physicists build devices using mineral perovskite

These are the wavelengths of light emitted from the spintronic LED. The inset shows the green light from the device.

CREDIT
University of Utah
These are the wavelengths of light emitted from the spintronic LED. The inset shows the green light from the device. CREDIT University of Utah

Abstract:
When German mineralogist Gustav Rose stood on the slopes of Russia's Ural Mountains in 1839 and picked up a piece of a previously undiscovered mineral, he had never heard of transistors or diodes or had any concept of how conventional electronics would become an integral part of our daily lives. He couldn't have anticipated that the rock he held in his hand, which he named "perovskite," could be a key to revolutionizing electronics as we know them.

Spintronics 'miracle material' put to the test: Physicists build devices using mineral perovskite

Salt Lake City, UT | Posted on January 11th, 2019

In 2017, University of Utah physicist Valy Vardeny called perovskite a "miracle material" for an emerging field of next-generation electronics, called spintronics, and he's standing by that assertion. In a paper published today in Nature Communications, Vardeny, along with Jingying Wang, Dali Sun (now at North Carolina State University) and colleagues present two devices built using perovskite to demonstrate the material's potential in spintronic systems. Its properties, Vardeny says, bring the dream of a spintronic transistor one step closer to reality.

Spintronics

A conventional digital electronic system conveys a binary signal (think 1s and 0s) through pulses of electrons carried through a conductive wire. Spintronics can convey additional information via another characteristic of electrons, their spin direction (think up or down). Spin is related to magnetism. So spintronics uses magnetism to align electrons of a certain spin, or "inject" spin into a system.

If you've ever done the old science experiment of turning a nail into a magnet by repeatedly dragging a magnet along its length, then you've already dabbled in spintronics. The magnet transfers information to the nail. The trick is then transporting and manipulating that information, which requires devices and materials with finely tuned properties. Researchers are working toward the milestone of a spin transistor, a spintronics version of the electronic components found in practically all modern electronics. Such a device requires a semiconductor material in which a magnetic field can easily manipulate the direction of electrons' spin--a property called spin-orbit coupling. It's not easy to build such a transistor, Wang says. "We keep searching for new materials to see if they're more suitable for this purpose."

Here's where perovskites come into play.

Perovskites

Perovskites are a class of mineral with a particular atomic structure. Their value as a technological material has only became apparent in the past 10 years. Because of that atomic structure, researchers have been developing perovskite into a material for making solar panels. By 2018 they'd achieved an efficiency of up to 23 percent of solar energy converted to electrical energy--a big step up from 3.8 percent in 2009.

In the meantime, Vardeny and his colleagues were exploring the possibilities of spintronics and the various materials that could prove effective in transmitting spin. Because of heavy lead atoms in perovskite, physicists predicted that the mineral may possess strong spin-orbit coupling. In a 2017 paper, Vardeny and physics assistant professor Sarah Li showed that a class of perovskites called organic-inorganic hybrid perovskites do indeed possess large spin-orbit coupling. Also, the lifetime of spin injected into the hybrid materials lasted a relatively long time. Both results suggested that this kind of hybrid perovskite held promise as a spintronics material.

Two spintronic devices

The next step, which Vardeny and Wang accomplished in their recent work, was to incorporate hybrid perovskite into spintronic devices. The first device is a spintronic light-emitting diode, or LED. The semiconductor in a traditional LED contains electrons and holes--places in atoms where electrons should be, but aren't. When electrons flow through the diode, they fill the holes and emit light.

Wang says that a spintronic LED works much the same way, but with a magnetic electrode, and with electron holes polarized to accommodate electrons of a certain spin. The LED lit up with circularly polarized electroluminescence, Wang says, showing that the magnetic electrode successfully transferred spin-polarized electrons into the material.

"It's not self-evident that if you put a semiconductor and a ferromagnet together you get a spin injection," Vardeny adds. "You have to prove it. And they proved it."

The second device is a spin valve. Similar devices already exist and are used in devices such as computer hard drives. In a spin valve, an external magnetic field flips the polarity of magnetic materials in the valve between an open, low-resistance state and a closed, high-resistance state.

Wang and Vardeny's spin valve does more. With hybrid perovskite as the device material, the researchers can inject spin into the device and then cause the spin to precess, or wobble, within the device using magnetic manipulation.

That's a big deal, the researchers say. "You can develop spintronics that are not only useful for recording information and data storage, but also calculation," Wang says. "That was an initial goal for the people who started the field of spintronics, and that's what we are still working on."

Taken together, these experiments show that perovskite works as a spintronic semiconductor. The ultimate goal of a spin-based transistor is still several steps away, but this study lays important groundwork for the path ahead.

"What we've done is to prove that what people thought was possible with perovskite actually happens," Vardeny says. "That's a big step."

###

This work was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Paul Gabrielsen

801-505-8253

Copyright © University of Utah

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 Links

The full study can be found here:

Related News Press

News and information

Nanometrics to Announce Fourth Quarter and Full Year Financial Results on February 5, 2019 January 18th, 2019

ULVAC Inc., and Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology collaborate to bring Atomic Scale Processing solutions to the Japanese Power and RF markets January 18th, 2019

Kiel physicists discover new effect in the interaction of plasmas with solids January 18th, 2019

Brilliant glow of paint-on semiconductors comes from ornate quantum physics January 18th, 2019

Light up logic: Engineers from UTokyo and RIKEN perform computational logic with light January 18th, 2019

Perovskites

Brilliant glow of paint-on semiconductors comes from ornate quantum physics January 18th, 2019

New materials could help improve the performance of perovskite solar cells January 11th, 2019

High-performance self-assembled catalyst for SOFC October 12th, 2018

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Brilliant glow of paint-on semiconductors comes from ornate quantum physics January 18th, 2019

Nanobiotix Plans to Conduct Registered Public Offering in the United States January 17th, 2019

2D materials may enable electric vehicles to get 500 miles on a single charge January 11th, 2019

Cartilage could be key to safe 'structural batteries' January 11th, 2019

Possible Futures

Kiel physicists discover new effect in the interaction of plasmas with solids January 18th, 2019

Brilliant glow of paint-on semiconductors comes from ornate quantum physics January 18th, 2019

Nanobiotix Plans to Conduct Registered Public Offering in the United States January 17th, 2019

Power stations driven by light: More efficient solar cells imitate photosynthesis January 16th, 2019

Spintronics

Holey graphene as Holy Grail alternative to silicon chips December 28th, 2018

Harnessing the power of 'spin orbit' coupling in silicon: Scaling up quantum computation December 7th, 2018

2-D magnetism: Atom-thick platforms for energy, information and computing research: Scientists say the tiny 'spins' of electrons show potential to one day support next-generation innovations in many fields October 31st, 2018

Graphene controls surface magnetism at room temperature October 8th, 2018

Chip Technology

Nanometrics to Announce Fourth Quarter and Full Year Financial Results on February 5, 2019 January 18th, 2019

Kiel physicists discover new effect in the interaction of plasmas with solids January 18th, 2019

Brilliant glow of paint-on semiconductors comes from ornate quantum physics January 18th, 2019

Light up logic: Engineers from UTokyo and RIKEN perform computational logic with light January 18th, 2019

Quantum Computing

Media invited to open meeting on the future of quantum technology held at RIT Jan. 23-25: Leaders from NASA, NSF, NIST and Sandia National Laboratory to attend January 11th, 2019

DNA design that anyone can do: Computer program can translate a free-form 2-D drawing into a DNA structure January 4th, 2019

Quantum chemistry on quantum computers: A quantum algorithm for tracking complex chemical reactions with neither performing demanding post-Hartree-Fock calculations nor exponential time explosion January 4th, 2019

Boffins manage to keep graphene qubits 'quantum coherent' for all of 55... nanoseconds: Doesn't sound very long, but it could have big implications for quantum computing January 3rd, 2019

Discoveries

Using bacteria to create a water filter that kills bacteria: New technology can clean water twice as fast as commercially available ultrafiltration membranes January 18th, 2019

Kiel physicists discover new effect in the interaction of plasmas with solids January 18th, 2019

Brilliant glow of paint-on semiconductors comes from ornate quantum physics January 18th, 2019

Light up logic: Engineers from UTokyo and RIKEN perform computational logic with light January 18th, 2019

Materials/Metamaterials

Brilliant glow of paint-on semiconductors comes from ornate quantum physics January 18th, 2019

Drilling speed increased by 20% yet another upgrade in the oil & gas sector made possible by graphene nanotubes January 15th, 2019

New materials could help improve the performance of perovskite solar cells January 11th, 2019

Chemical synthesis of nanotubes: Nanometer-sized tubes made from simple benzene molecules January 11th, 2019

Announcements

Nanometrics to Announce Fourth Quarter and Full Year Financial Results on February 5, 2019 January 18th, 2019

ULVAC Inc., and Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology collaborate to bring Atomic Scale Processing solutions to the Japanese Power and RF markets January 18th, 2019

Kiel physicists discover new effect in the interaction of plasmas with solids January 18th, 2019

Brilliant glow of paint-on semiconductors comes from ornate quantum physics January 18th, 2019

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Using bacteria to create a water filter that kills bacteria: New technology can clean water twice as fast as commercially available ultrafiltration membranes January 18th, 2019

Kiel physicists discover new effect in the interaction of plasmas with solids January 18th, 2019

Brilliant glow of paint-on semiconductors comes from ornate quantum physics January 18th, 2019

New materials could help improve the performance of perovskite solar cells January 11th, 2019

Quantum nanoscience

Brilliant glow of paint-on semiconductors comes from ornate quantum physics January 18th, 2019

Quantum chemistry on quantum computers: A quantum algorithm for tracking complex chemical reactions with neither performing demanding post-Hartree-Fock calculations nor exponential time explosion January 4th, 2019

Boffins manage to keep graphene qubits 'quantum coherent' for all of 55... nanoseconds: Doesn't sound very long, but it could have big implications for quantum computing January 3rd, 2019

Researchers make liquid crystals do the twist: UMD engineers and scientists measure previously unexamined tiny force December 21st, 2018

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



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project