Spintronics enabling technology
Our enabling technology is spintronics...
...a nanotechnology we helped pioneer, which utilizes electron
spin rather than electron charge to acquire, store, and transmit information.
We manufacture high-performance spintronic products including sensors
and couplers that
are used to acquire and transmit data. We have also licensed our spintronic
magnetoresistive random access memory technology, commonly known as MRAM.
Our designs use one of two types of patented spintronic nano-scale structures:
tunnel junctions and giant
magnetoresistors (GMR). Both structures produce a large change in electrical
resistance depending on the predominant spin of electrons in a thin metal
layer. In this way electron spin can be converted to an electrical signal
compatible with conventional electronics.
The 2007 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded for the discovery of GMR. The
Secretary of the Nobel Committee for Physics noted, most important is
that the discovery [of GMR] started the field of spintronics, that is, how
to make use of the different properties that electrons with different spin
have. The full applications (for example, magnetic random access memories
for computers) of this new field can only be guessed.
References and additional reading:
Awschalom et. al., "Spintronics," Scientific American, 6/02
S. Wolf, "Spintronics Introduction," WTEC, 11/01
D. D. Awschalom, R. A. Buhrman, and J. M. Daughton (contributors), Spin Electronics, Published by Springer, 2004).
How Giant Magnetoresistance (GMR) works
How spintronic couplers work
How MRAM works