Spin is a very interesting quantum mechanical property as it relates to the world we live in, but has no analogy to classical mechanics. The direction of a particle's spin determines the direction of its magnetic field, which is part of the reason why researchers want to employ spintronics for the next generation of computing technology. Now researchers at Linköping University have brought that dream a step closer by developing a spintronic amplifier.
As spin is an intrinsic property of a particle, it will allow for very low energy computing, but there are still limits for how weak a signal can be. The researcher's new device should help with that though as it could be integrated anywhere along the path the signal is taking. The amplifier is made of a non-magnetic semiconductor, Ga(In)NAs, with extra gallium atoms added in. These intentional defects are what amplify the signal.
The same group of researchers to create this device also created a room temperature spin filter in 2009. Together these two devices, and more still in development, could revolutionize the computing world.