In the last fifty years we have revolutionized the world with electronics by exploring the fundamental property of electrons, their charge. Now researchers are working towards next leap forward in technology using another fundamental property of electrons, their spin. The field is called spintronics.
The idea is to use an electron’s spin in much the same way we use charge.
Electronics today encode information by using electrical currents to represent ones and zeroes. If the current is on it represents with one and if the current is off it’s a zero. Electrons themselves can have spins in two orientations, up or down. So instead of on or off representing ones and zeroes, up or down spins can be used to encode information.
Spintronics will have several advantages over traditional electronics. Instead of using semiconductors to control the flow of electrons, spin can be read with common materials like aluminium and copper. This method could be faster and reliable since spin can be changed quickly and doesn’t go away with loss of power.
Spintronics will need less power to begin with since it takes less energy to change an electron’s spin than it does to maintain a current.
This tech is being applied to computer ram for extreme applications like in aircraft because of its reliability exposed to cosmic rays. But it may replace flash memory in SD cards one day soon.
In another fifty years who knows what advancements spintronics will bring us.
#The Model Club