U.S. scientists have devised a way to make electronic devices based on a property of electrons called spin, rather than just their electric charge.

The interdisciplinary group of scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory said their approach, which they call spintronics, could open the way to dramatically increasing the productivity of electronic devices operating at the nanoscale.

This development can open the way for the use of spintronics in practical room temperature devices, an exciting prospect, said Energy Department Undersecretary for Science Raymond Orbach.

The Brookhaven group uses magnetism to manipulate spin in graphene, a material consisting of flat sheets of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal pattern. They’ve proposed ways to make materials consisting of layers of graphene mated to magnetic and nonmagnetic layers.

Such graphene-magnet multilayers are expected to retain their properties at room temperature, an important requirement for spintronic devices. By properly arranging the magnetization of the magnetic layers, they can be used to create a full spectrum of spintronic devices, including microchips, transistors, and logic gates

The Brookhaven scientists have filed a U.S. provisional patent application for their invention, which is available for licensing.

Via Web India