Researchers from the Helmholtz-Zentrum demonstrated that topological insulators are suitable for Spintronics applications. The researchers showed how the spins of the electrons in topological insulators can be controlled.

Characteristic spin orientation of electrons in a topological insulator

The researchers used circularly-polarized laser to investigate samples of antimony-telluride, a topological insulator. Using the rotational direction of the laser, it is possible to initiate and direct spin-polarised current. The researchers also succeeded to change the orientation of the spins.