Graphene Nanoimans for faster and more sustainable information technologies

The spin can be understood as the rotation of a fundamental particle of matter around itself. For example, each electron in any material carries a charge and a spin, which is key to magnetism. The scientific community agrees that this property of matter is ideal for advancing the performance of the current nanoelectronics based on the load, specifically, towards a class of components faster and more energy efficient. This is the basis of emerging technology called quantum spintronics. In this context and within the framework of the highly competitive FET-Open Horizon 2020 call, the European Commission will finance with 3.5 million euros a new research project of high risk and great impact based on graphene, to try to lay the bases of a radically new technology.

Its name, SPin Research IN Graphene (SPRING), an initiative to investigate how to create and detect spins in graphene, that is, read and write spins, and then use them to transmit information. This four-year project is coordinated by the CIC nanoGUNE center and integrated by IBM Research, Donostia International Physics Center, the University of Santiago de Compostela, the Technical University of Delft and the University of Oxford, which have met between 7 and 8 November in San Sebastian for the launch. The SPRING project combines the latest scientific advances of consortium members to manufacture custom-made magnetic graphene nanostructures, as well as testing their potential as basic elements in spintronic quantum devices.

The long-term objective is the development of a platform made entirely of graphene, respectful of the environment, in which the spins can be used to transport, store and process information.

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