Spin effects: Graphene meets gold
New materials are key to use spintronical effects in the future. This year, the HZB researchers Dr. Andrej Varykhalov und Dr. Dmitri Marchenko showed that graphene on silicon carbide is a promising candidate. As long as you squeeze gold atoms between the semiconductor and graphene. This enhances the spin-orbit interaction at certain locations in the material and allows to rotate the spin of its electrons. By doping the graphene with a second element, it may be possible to control the spin rotation via an electric current. So it could be possible to store and re-write information.
The effect is illustrated in the picture. a) Without gold, the spin is not affected. b) After introducing gold atoms, the spin switches every 40 nanometres.
For more information, see this press release.