New Monolayer Material Adds Organic Flexibility to Spintronic Technology Featured

Combining organic spin valves with alloys, researchers have created a platform with magnetoresistive and memristive traits that could pave the way for electric, magnetic and even optic manipulation.

spintronic technology

By using the spin of electrons to process and store digital information, the field of spintronics is poised to advance a range of technologies, including memory storage and photovoltaics. To date, most spintronic devices use inorganic materials, but thin films with organic components have shown a degree of flexibility and complexity that lend them to use for spintronic devices with tunable electrical properties. One group has found a way to bring these features together into a single device.

Hong et al. have reported a demonstration of a spintronic platform that is capable of both electric and magnetic responses. Creating an organic/inorganic hybrid monolayer spacer with 1,4- benzenedimethanethiol (BDMT), the authors created a heterostructured material that could both uses the magnetoresistive effect that allows sensor to endure rugged environments and the electric-history dependent resistance that allows spintronic devices to act as tunable memory storage devices.

“We overcome the technical difficulty of successfully preparing a large area of well-ordered molecular-level organic thin film on the inorganic ferromagnetic underlayer, and bring both electric and magnetic nonvolatile advantages into one device,” said Minn-Tsong Lin, an author on the paper.

The group’s monolayer was constructed through a process of self-assembly in which an organic spin valve was stacked in sequence with nickel-iron and cobalt-iron alloys.

After confirming that the BDMT layer self-assembled correctly using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, the team found that spin valves allowed electrical resistance to undergo types of non-volatile switching that is present in magnetoresistive and the memristive switching.

According to Lin, the platform could allow for multi-functional molecular spintronics in the future, with applications in electric, magnetic and even optic manipulation.