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Nat Mater. 2012 Apr 23;11(5):400-8. doi: 10.1038/nmat3293.

Silicon spintronics.

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National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Spintronics Research Center, Umezono 1-1-1, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8568, Japan.


Worldwide efforts are underway to integrate semiconductors and magnetic materials, aiming to create a revolutionary and energy-efficient information technology in which digital data are encoded in the spin of electrons. Implementing spin functionality in silicon, the mainstream semiconductor, is vital to establish a spin-based electronics with potential to change information technology beyond imagination. Can silicon spintronics live up to the expectation? Remarkable advances in the creation and control of spin polarization in silicon suggest so. Here, I review the key developments and achievements, and describe the building blocks of silicon spintronics. Unexpected and puzzling results are discussed, and open issues and challenges identified. More surprises lie ahead as silicon spintronics comes of age.


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