Researchers Utilize Spintronics to Allow Low-power Operation

Oct, 2020 - By SMI

Researchers Utilize Spintronics to Allow Low-power Operation

Researchers from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) used principles in quantum science and engineering to build a graphene-based logic device.

Electronic charge of electrons are used by conventional tech devices for power. In spintronics, inherent spin of electrons are being used as a new power source by researchers. This new approach will require only few electrons to operate. However, capturing the spin as efficiently as possible is a challenge for the researchers.

Ethan Ahn, UTSA assistant professor in electrical engineering developed the new idea of the ‘zero-power carbon interconnect’ by using nanomaterials as both the spin transport channel and the tunnel barrier. These nanomaterials are like a sheet of paper, a two-dimensional layer of carbon atoms just a few nanometers in thickness, and it is the point of contact where spin injection is inputted into the device. This prototype is an interconnect built with a reduced graphene oxide layer. Ahn said, “It is novel because we are using graphene, a nanomaterial, to enhance spin injection. By controlling the amount of oxide on the graphene layers, we can fine tune electrons' conductivity.”

The zero-power carbon interconnect created by the researcher, if successful, would be integrated into the logic component of a computer chip. Once the device is developed, it will be submitted to the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research, which supports UTSA's work with a three-year grant. Moreover, the cloud computing industry will also be benefitted by this interconnect. It will help cloud servers that offer streaming services such as Netflix or host data to operate faster and with less electricity.

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