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Date: 23-06-15

Valleytronics to make spintronics easier

The semiconductor material researchers are exploring properties other than the charge of the electrons such as spin and changing energy levels of electrons to take the advanced computing systems and other electronic systems to the next level of higher performance.

Along with the spintronics, the new area of research is valleytronics, here the valley is the curve-valleys what you see in the graph of energy of electrons plotted versus momentum of electrons in semiconductor and other such materials. Researchers now finding ways to control those valleys which help in storing the data for quantum computing applications.

Physicists at Bath, UK with international collaboration able to examine how ‘valley polarisation’ in silicon transistors affects how electronic spin is polarised.

They could use a unique method to polarise valleys in the steady state which in turn could help spin polarisation. At lower electron density, it becomes easier to align electron's spin when valleys are frozen.

These so called valleys cause problems in today's silicon transistors reducing the switching speed as well as other limitations of silicon. Even in quantum devices valleys cause decoherence (whereby the quantum part of information is lost) preventing qubits in maintaining the stored data.

This research is expected to lead new ways with which to develop silicon-based spintronics or interface complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology with silicon-based quantum information processing.

Another outcome of this research is, it answers to the question of “what is the nature of the two dimensional electronic system?” Findings by these scientists suggest, the existence of a new liquid state due to the stability afforded by valley-spin degeneracy.

The paper, 'Valley polarization assisted spin polarization in two dimensions' is available at the link: http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150601/ncomms8230/full/ncomms8230.html

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