University of Cambridge researchers say they have achieved a breakthrough in the field of spintronics. The researchers note that spintronics has the potential to create a new generation of super-fast computers capable of processing vast amounts of data in an energy-efficient way. They say their breakthrough provides the first evidence that supercomputers could be used as an energy-efficient source for spin-based devices.
The research shows the natural spin of electrons can be manipulated and detected within the current flowing from a superconductor. The researchers made both superconductivity and spin possible simultaneously by adding an intervening magnetic layer of the rare earth element holmium. With this layer, the magnetism rotates and forms a non-collinear interface with the magnetic layers.
The researchers say the next step is to create a prototype memory element based on superconducting spin currents, and to look for new material combinations that could increase the effectiveness of their method. "Much fundamental research is now required in order to understand the science of this new field, but the results offer a glimpse into a future in which supercomputing could be far more energy-efficient," says Cambridge's Jason Robinson.
From University of Cambridge
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