12 July 2024
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Understanding Chiral Materials and Spin Injection

Chiral materials are a fascinating area of study in the field of spintronics, a branch of electronics that utilizes the spin of electrons to transmit information rather than their charge. Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of Pittsburgh have delved into how the spin information of an electron, known as a pure spin current, moves through these unique materials.

Chiral materials possess chirality, which means they cannot be superimposed on their mirror image. An everyday example of chirality is your left and right hands – a left-handed glove will not fit on your right hand, and vice versa. In the realm of spintronics, chirality in materials allows scientists to control the direction of spin within the material itself.

Impact of Spin Direction on Chiral Materials

Traditionally, it was believed that the sense of chirality of a material played a crucial role in determining how spin would move through it. However, recent research has shown that when injecting pure spin into a chiral material, the direction in which the spin is injected significantly impacts its ability to pass through the material.

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The study conducted by the research team used two different methods to inject pure spin into chiral materials: microwave particle excitation and ultrafast laser heating. Both approaches led to the same conclusion, highlighting the importance of the spin direction in chiral materials.

Designing Energy-Efficient Spintronic Devices

The implications of this research are profound, especially in the realm of designing energy-efficient spintronic devices for data storage, communication, and computing. By understanding how the direction of spin injection affects the material’s ability to transmit spin, researchers can potentially create chiral “gateways” that allow for the efficient transfer of spin information without the need to move associated charges.

Spintronic devices are of particular interest due to their potential to reduce energy consumption in electronic devices. By harnessing the spin of electrons rather than their charge, these devices could revolutionize the way data is stored and processed, leading to faster and more energy-efficient technologies.

Future Directions and Implications

The findings of this study challenge previous assumptions about chiral materials and spin, opening up new avenues for exploration in the field of spintronics. By uncovering the impact of spin direction on the absorption of spin current in chiral materials, researchers can now focus on developing novel applications and devices that leverage this phenomenon.

The study on chiral materials and spin injection sheds light on the intricate relationship between spin direction and material properties. By further exploring this phenomenon, scientists hope to unlock the full potential of chiral materials in creating advanced spintronic devices that are not only energy-efficient but also highly effective in transmitting spin information.

Links to additional Resources:

1. www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-27167-4 2. www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0925838821004322 3. www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/202107/spintronics.cfm

Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: Chirality, Spintronics, Spin current

Chirality
Chirality is a property of asymmetry important in several branches of science. The word chirality is derived from the Greek χείρ (kheir), "hand", a familiar chiral object. An object or a system is chiral if it is distinguishable from its mirror image; that is, it cannot be superposed (not to...
Read more: Chirality

Spintronics
Spintronics (a portmanteau meaning spin transport electronics), also known as spin electronics, is the study of the intrinsic spin of the electron and its associated magnetic moment, in addition to its fundamental electronic charge, in solid-state devices. The field of spintronics concerns spin-charge coupling in metallic systems; the analogous effects...
Read more: Spintronics

Spin Hall effect
The spin Hall effect (SHE) is a transport phenomenon predicted by Russian physicists Mikhail I. Dyakonov and Vladimir I. Perel in 1971. It consists of the appearance of spin accumulation on the lateral surfaces of an electric current-carrying sample, the signs of the spin directions being opposite on the opposing...
Read more: Spin Hall effect

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