A team of researchers from Germany, the UK, Japan and the Czech republic developed an efficient spin-charge converter based on GaAs. This is the first time that such an efficient spin-charge converter was developed from a "common" material (comparable efficiences were only observed in converters made from platinum).
A spin-charge converter enable the transformation of electric into magnetic signals and vice versa. These converters are essential tools for efficient, simply and precise spin manipulation using electric fields. The main principle behind these converters is the so called spin-Hall effect.
In addition to the development of the new spin-charge converter, the researchers also demonstrated that the creation or detection efficiency of spin currents is electrically tunable in a certain regime. This has important implications for real-world spintronics devices.