Jun 26, 2012Science and Technology
Spin city: laser re-writable spintronic circuits
Quantum computing based on electron spin -- aka spintronics -- has long promised to replace conventional electronics. The problem has been that electron spin, which enables electrons to make multiple simultaneous computations, changes states rapidly and is unstable. Thanks to a University of California Berkeley and City College of New York team this issue is now moot. The team stabilized spins of electrons by using laser light to produce “long-lasting nuclear spin magnets” that can push, pull, or stabilize spin. The magnets are constructed “by illuminating a sample of gallium arsenide with a pattern of light.” The illuminated pattern instantly aligns the spins of exposed atomic nuclei and their electrons, creating a new spintronic circuit. "If you can actually rewrite with a beam of light and alter this pattern, you can make the circuit adapt to different requirements," said CCNY Professor of Physics Carlos Merilesles. "Imagine what a system like that do for you!"
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