Feeds

'Spintronic' computing gets closer with laser 'lectron discovery

Tiny twirly tech

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Boffins in Kansas report that they have made a breakthrough in "spintronics" - the postulated future technology which might replace today's conventional electronics and allow much more powerful IT hardware.

As the name suggests, spintronics uses the spin of an electron to store information rather than its charge. If it can be made practical, this should offer a lot more performance for less energy used.

“We have been using the charge of the electron for several decades,” says physics prof Hui Zhao of the Kansas University Ultrafast Laser Lab (KUULL). “But right now the size of each device is just 30 to 50 nanometers, and you don’t have many atoms remaining on that tiny scale. We can’t continue that way anymore because we’re hitting a fundamental limit.”

The problem facing spintronicists, however, has been that it's quite difficult to detect what spin state an electron is in. This is where Zhao and his colleague Lalani Werake have done some beezer boffinry at the KUULL. According to a statement issued yesterday by KU:

The KU researchers have discovered that shining a laser beam on a piece of semiconductor generates different color lights if the spinning electrons are flowing, and the brightness of the new light is related to the strength of the spin current.

The optical effect, known as “second-harmonic generation,” can monitor spin-current in real time without altering the current itself.

“Spintronics is still in the research phase, and we hope that this new technology can be used in labs to look at problems that interest researchers,” says Zhao. “As spintronics become industrialized, we expect this could become a routine technique.”

Website security in corporate America

More from The Register

next story
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
Your chance to WIN the WORLD'S ONLY HANDHELD ZX SPECTRUM
Reg staff not allowed to enter, god dammit
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Monitors monitor's monitoring finds touch screens have 0.4% market share
Not four. Point four. Count yer booty again, Microsoft
Getting to the BOTTOM of the great office seating debate
Belay that toil, me hearty, and park your scurvy backside
Hey, Mac fanbois. HGST wants you drooling over its HUGE desktop RACK
What vast digital media repository could possibly need 64 TERABYTES?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.