UPTON, NY — The evolution of digital electronics is a story of miniaturization – each generation of circuitry requires less space and energy to perform the same tasks. But even as high-speed processors move into handheld smart phones, current data storage technology has a functional limit: magnetically stored digital information becomes unstable when too tightly packed. The answer to maintaining the breath-taking pace of our ongoing computer revolution may be the denser, faster, and smarter technology of spintronics.
Spintronic devices use electron spin, a subtle quantum characteristic, to write and read information. But to mobilize this emerging technology, scientists must understand exactly how to manipulate spin as a reliable carrier of computer code. Now, scientists at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory have precisely measured a key parameter of electron interactions called non-adiabatic spin torque that is essential to the future development of spintronic devices... Read more