Graphene Goes the Distance in Spintronics: Experiments push electron-spin signals to record lengths
Image: Yunfei Gao and Yuri Kubo Fast Flake: A multilayer flake of graphene [dark wedge] carries a spin signal between two electrodes made from a magnetic alloy. The future of computing might just come down to the honeycomb.
Researchers have pushed graphene’s ability to carry information using the spin of electrons to record distances. The results mean that the material—composed of honeycomb-like sheets of carbon atoms—may be ideal for future devices that use spin instead of electrical current to perform computations and carry signals.
Spin is a quantum mechanical property of many particles that responds to magnetic fields and corresponds to an intrinsic angular momentum. It can be a useful binary signal, because in the presence of a magnetic field it can be oriented in either of two ways—either parallel or antiparallel to the magnetic field.
Harnessing spin is nothin...