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Reimer Perfects New Techniques for Spintronics and Quantum Computing

University of California, Berkeley (07/05/12)

 Researchers the University of California, Berkeley and the City College of New York are developing techniques to overcome the physical limitations of computer chips in order to create the next generation of faster and smaller electronic devices.  The researchers are using lasers to control the fundamental nuclear spin properties of semiconductor materials to speed the creation of spintronic devices that use electrons’ spin state to control memory and logic circuits.  “Our laser techniques can allow quantum computing to become far more practical and inexpensive,” says Berkeley’s Jeff Reimer.  He notes that spintronics enables computer chips to operate more quickly and with less power.  “Now we want to use this knowledge to develop better spintronic devices,” Reimer says.  The researchers have found they can use circularly polarized laser beams to control spin states in gallium arsenide.  “By tuning the laser to just the right intensity and frequency, and by picking the isotopes of gallium and arsenic we use for the semiconductor material, we can control the spins in the semiconductor by using polarized laser light,” Reimer says.

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