Researchers from the Queen Mary University of London and Switzerland-based Paul Scherrer Institute have succeeded to measure how magnetic polarisation is lost. The resulting improved understanding of the workings of electronic devices using the spin degree of freedom, and the field of organic spintronics in general, finally paves the way for ensuring higher efficiencies in spin transfer, and thus for the future of spin-based electronic devices.

The researchers came out with a new depth-resolved technique for measuring the spin polarisation of current-injected electrons in an organic spin valve and found that the temperature dependence of the measured spin diffusion length was correlated to the device’s magneto-resistance. The scientists used elementary particles called muons that act as tiny magnets, to measure the magnetic field within the device.

Spin valves are usually made up of at least three layers – two magnetic layers separated by a non-magnetic one – and the team attempted to investigate how spins travel across the middle of these layers. It is believed that the research team’s findings are quite significant both to the understanding of spintronic devices, and to the eventual development of next generation data storage solutions and other novel devices and applications.