Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists put the squeeze on electron spins

17.06.2005


University of California scientists working at Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed a novel method for controlling and measuring electron spins in semiconductor crystals of GaAs (gallium arsenide). The work suggests an alternative--and perhaps even superior--method of spin manipulation for future generations of "semiconductor spintronic" devices.



In research published in today’s issue of the scientific journal Physical Review Letters, Scott Crooker and Darryl Smith describe their use of a scanning optical microscope to acquire two-dimensional images of spin-polarized electrons flowing in semiconductor crystals mounted on an optical cryostat while using a miniature "cryogenic vise" to apply gentle pressure. By squeezing the crystal in a controlled manner, and without applying magnetic fields, the researchers were able to watch the electron spins rotate (or precess) as they flow through the crystal.

According to Crooker, "electrons, in addition to their negative electronic charge, also possess a magnetic "spin". That is, each electron behaves like a little bar magnet, with north and south poles. Electron spins in semiconductors are typically manipulated by applying a magnetic field, but we’ve found we can do the same thing, in a controlled fashion, using the "vise". And, the resulting degree of spatial spin coherence is remarkably more robust compared to the spin precession induced by a magnetic field."


The cryogenic vise operates at only a few degrees above absolute zero (4 degrees Kelvin) and can be used to intentionally tip, rotate, and flip the electron spins. The research was conducted at the Pulsed Field Facility of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL) at Los Alamos.

The research was funded by Los Alamos Laboratory-Directed Research and Development (LDRD) funding and the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s SPins IN Semiconductors (SPINS) Program, which is designed to encourage research to exploit the spin degree of freedom of the electron and create revolutionary electronic devices with the potential to be very fast at very low power.

Alex H. Lacerda, Director of NHMFL-Los Alamos, states, "This work is an excellent example of how the LDRD program engenders strong inter-divisional relationships and enduring experimental-theoretical collaborations at Los Alamos for the pursuit of basic science."

The research fits into a broader area of expertise that Los Alamos National Laboratory maintains in the field of atomic physics in general, and spintronics research in particular.

Los Alamos National Laboratory is operated by the University of California for the National Nuclear Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy and works in partnership with NNSA’s Sandia and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories to support NNSA in its mission.

Los Alamos enhances global security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear deterrent, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to defense, energy, environment, infrastructure, health and national security concerns.

Todd Hanson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.lanl.gov

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Breaking the optical bandwidth record of stable pulsed lasers
24.01.2017 | Institut national de la recherche scientifique - INRS

nachricht European XFEL prepares for user operation: Researchers can hand in first proposals for experiments
24.01.2017 | European XFEL GmbH

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists spin artificial silk from whey protein

X-ray study throws light on key process for production

A Swedish-German team of researchers has cleared up a key process for the artificial production of silk. With the help of the intense X-rays from DESY's...

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Breaking the optical bandwidth record of stable pulsed lasers

24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Choreographing the microRNA-target dance

24.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Spanish scientists create a 3-D bioprinter to print human skin

24.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>