Spintronics: concept and challenges

Jaroslav Fabian 

Institute of Theoretical Physics University Regensburg, Regensburg 93040, Germany

Abstract

Spintronics [1] is a rapidly developing field which promises novel electronic devices that combine charge transport and spin memory, to bring new functionalities to conventional semiconductor electronics. The goals are manipulation of charge by spin, to control the current flow by magnetic means, as well as manipulation of spin by electronic transport, to modify the information stored in spins by electric means. I will review basic concepts of spintronics and the progress made in satisfying its three requirements: spin injection, spin transport, and spin detection. I will also review recent progress in fabricating materials and materials structures (novel magnetic semiconductors) that can be employed in active regions of electronic devices to achieve the stated spintronics goals. Several proposals for spintronics devices will be critically presented, among them the Datta-Das spin field effect transistor, hot-electron spin transistors, as well as bipolar spintronic devices (the magnetic bipolar transistor). Challenges to the field as well as novel trends, such as nanospintronics, in which individual electron spins are manipulated for quantum information processing, will be discussed.

[1] I. Zutic, J. Fabian, and S. Das Sarma, Spintronics: fundamentals and applications, Rev. Mod. Phys. 76, 323 (2004).

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Presentation: invited oral at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2005, Plenary session, by Jaroslav Fabian
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2005

Submitted: 2005-05-18 08:18
Revised:   2009-06-07 00:44
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