Researchers from the Polytechnic University of Milan discovered that germanium features a very strong spin hall effect and spin accumulation over long distances Germanium interfaces easily with silicon which means that it could be a strong candidate for future spintronics devices.

The team fabricated a 100-by-250-micrometer germanium rectangle doped with phosphorous on a silicon surface. Driving a current int he long dimension, the spin hall effect was measured by detecting the accumulated spin density vs position across the short direction (spin-up electrons should accumulate at one edge and spin-down at the opposite edge).

The results showed a spin density accumulated through the spin hall effect nearly 100 times larger than that reported for a similar sample of indium gallium arsenide and comparable to the highest value measured for gallium arsenide.