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Spintronics

Spintronics, (a neologism for "spin-based electronics"), also known as magnetoelectronics[?] is an emergent semiconductor technology which exploits the quantum propensity of electrons to spin as well as making use of their charge state. The "spin" itself is manifested as a detectable weak magnetic energy state characterised as "spin up" and "spin down". Conventional usage of electron state within a semiconductor is a purely binary proposition, where an electron's state represents only 0 or 1, and a range of eight bits can represent every number between 0 and 255, but only one number at a time. Spintronics quantum bits (known as qubits) exploit the "spin up" and "spin down" states as superpositions of 0 or 1, possessing the ability to represent every number between 0 and 255 simultaneously.

It is likely to have radical implications in the field of mass-storage devices; recently (in 2002) IBM scientists announced that they could compress massive amounts of data into a small area, at approximately one trillion bits per square inch.

Further Reading

Ultrafast Manipulation of Electron Spin Coherence. J. A. Gupta, R. Knobel, N. Samarth and D. D. Awschalom in Science, Vol. 292, pages 2458-2461; June 29, 2001.



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