Electronics Takes on a New Spin

Researchers at MIT find a way to observe and control the way electrons spin on the surface of exotic new materials.

Story content courtesy of MIT News Office, US

For the first time, the MIT team showed that light can be used to obtain information about the spin of electrons flowing over the material’s surface, and found a way to control these electron movements by varying the polarization of a light source. The materials could open up possibilities for a new kind of devices based on spintronics; instead of using their electrical charge the way electronic devices do. It could also allow for much faster control of existing technologies such as magnetic data storage. The senior author of the papers is MIT assistant professor of physics Nuh Gedikteam, which included input from graduate students Yihua Wang and James McIver, and MIT Pappalardo postdoctoral fellow David Hsieh.

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