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Spin Injection In Semiconductors 'could Make Circuits More Energy Efficient'

Semiconductor spin injection has now been achieved for silicon at a temperature higher than previously recorded.
Spin injection in commercial semiconductors could lead to computers needing less power after researchers managed to polarise the spinning electrons in silicon, when previously this had only been achieved in indium arsenide and gallium arsenide.

Researchers at the University of Twente in Enschede, Netherlands have shown that electrons can hold their polarisation for a period long enough to flow through a semiconductor, meaning they can be used in circuits.

Previously, the manipulation and detection of spin polarised electrons in silicon could only be done at low temperatures, but now this has been achieved at room temperature. A magnetic metal such as nickel iron was laid on top of the semiconductor as more of its electrons spins point one way.

"The next [step] is actually to build real electronic circuits and show that they are better than the electronic circuits that we have available right now," Ron Jansen, who led the research, told the BBC.

As the individual features on silicon chips get smaller, more power is required to move the charged electrons to represent the binary code 0s and 1s, which is why spin injection could make the semiconductor material more efficient.ADNFCR-2855-ID-19481148-ADNFCR
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