Groundbreaking Semiconductor Compound May Lead to Faster, Smaller Electronics
A groundbreaking semiconductor compound is bringing fresh momentum to the field of spintronics - an emerging technology that may lead to smaller, faster, less power-hungry electronics. Spintronics use both the presence or absence of electrical charge and the 'up' or 'down' magnetic spin of electrons to store information, whereas today's electronics use only electrical charge. Spin-based circuits can be smaller than charge-based circuits, enabling device makers to pack more circuits onto a single processor. Created from a new low symmetry crystal structure, the new semiconductor compound is the first to build spintronic properties into a material that's stable at room temperature and easily tailored to a variety of applications. It could eventually be used as the base material for spintronic processors and other devices, much like silicon is the base for today's computing devices.