Researchers at North Carolina State University and the University of Pittsburgh investigated how the spin information of an electron, called a pure spin current, moves through chiral materials. They found that the direction in which the spins are injected into chiral materials affects their ability to pass through them. These chiral “gateways” could be used to design energy-efficient spintronic devices for data storage, communication, and computing.

Spintronic devices harness the spin of an electron, rather than its charge, to create current and move information through electronic devices.

“One of the goals in spintronics is to move spin information through a material without also having to move the associated charge, because moving the charge takes more energy – it’s why your phone and computer get hot when you use them for a long time,” says David Waldeck, professor of chemistry in Pitt’s Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and co-corresponding author of the work.

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