Researchers at Chalmers University, affiliated with the Graphene Flagship, have devised a graphene-based spin field-effect transistor with the ability to function at room temperature. The team used the spin of electrons in graphene and similar layered material heterostructures to fabricate working devices in a step towards combining memory devices and the logic of spintronics.
The researchers demonstrated that the spin characteristics of graphene can be electrically regulated in a controlled way, even at an ambient temperature. In addition to possibly unlocking various probabilities in spin logic operations, this study also enables integration with magnetic memory elements in a device unit. If further advancements can assist in the production of a spin current without the need for charge flow, the amount of power needed will be considerably reduced, resulting in highly versatile devices.
Several research teams have already demonstrated the ability of graphene to convey spin over longer distances. Hence, if graphene is integrated with another layered material in which spin stays only for a considerably lesser time, a spin field-effect transistor like device can be fabricated. By combining graphene with molybdenum disulfide (where spin only lasts for picoseconds) it's possible to control where the spin can go by using a gate voltage—essentially creating a spin switch.