Researchers at Newcastle University, National University of Singapore (NUS) and Japan's National Institute for Materials Science have reported a significant discovery in the field of spintronics based on the unique properties of an ultrathin, two-dimensional material called black phosphorus and how it transports spinning electrons.
Spintronics utilizes the intrinsic spin of electrons to create more energy-efficient devices. Electrons have a spin state of “up” or “down” causing the electrons to act like tiny magnets and manipulating this state has been seen by researchers as crucial for achieving lower power operation in electronic devices. This is because the spin motion of electrons inherently dissipates far less heat than the movement of electrical charge used in traditional electronics. Whilst the phenomenon of spin itself has been widely studied, the challenge has been finding a material with the optimal properties for creating the channels that transport spins.