Spin Hall effect detected at room temperature

Physicists in the US are the first to detect the spin Hall effect at room temperature, in what could be an important development in the quest for a practical source of spin-polarized electrons for spintronic devices.

David Awschalom and colleagues at the Center for Spintronics and Computation at the University of California, Santa Barbara observed the current-induced spin-polarization of electrons and the spin Hall effect in thin surface layers of ZnSe.

The 'spin Hall' is a spin current flowing in a transverse direction to the charge current in a non-magnetic material and in the absence of an applied magnetic field. The result is a measurable accumulation of “spin up” and “spin down” electrons at opposite edges of the conducting channel. 

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Posted: Sep 12,2006 by Ron Mertens