How might spintronics help nanotech?

20 June 2010

Question

What is spintronics, and how might it be involved with nanotechnology?

Answer

We put this question to Professor Stephen Bennington from the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory...

Stephen - Well it's like digital technology, so it's using electrons. But instead of just having on and off as your two states, you can use the spin of the electron so that spin can be up/down, and so you have much more information in there. But instead of using silicon, you can't just use silicon for these kinds of things. You've got to use much more complicated magnetic materials and you've got to make them nano scale. You know, silicon at the moment is at 45 nanometre, so you've got to make these complex materials also nano scale. We do a lot of work on this at the Neutron Source which is very good at looking magnetic materials.

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