Researchers demonstrate method for inducing and controlling the flow of spin and valley currents in ultrafast timeframes using laser pulses
Researchers at the Max Born Institute in Germany recently discovered a method for inducing and controlling the flow of spin and valley currents in ultrafast timeframes, using specially designed laser pulses. This discovery could offer a novel perspective on the search for the next generation of information technologies.
Ultrafast laser control over the basic quantum properties of matter is a critical challenge that must be addressed to develop future information technologies beyond the semiconductor electronics that define our current era. Electron spin and valley index, an emergent property of two-dimensional materials related to quasiparticle momentum, are two promising quantum properties in this regard. Both spintronics and valleytronics offer many potential advantages over classical electronics in terms of data manipulation speed and energy efficiency. While spin excitations suffer from a dynamic loss of character due to spin-orbit-induced spin precession, the valley wavefunction represents a more stable "data bit" that is only threatened by intervalley scattering, a feature controllable by sample quality. Valleytronics thus presents a potentially robust platform for moving beyond classical electronics.