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Posted: Aug 21, 2014
Magnons control magnons: Next-generation transistors
(Nanowerk News) A disturbance in the local magnetic order of a solid body can propagate across a material just like a wave. This wave is named spin wave and its quanta are known as magnons. Physicists from the University of Kaiserslautern propose the usage of magnons to carry and process information instead of electrons as it is done in electronics.
The flow of magnons from the transistor’s Source to Drain (blue bubbles) is controlled by the magnons injected into the Gate (red bubbles).
This technology opens access to a new generation of computers in which data are processed without motion of any real particles like electrons. This leads to a decrease of the accompanying heat loss and, consequently, to lower energy consumption. Moreover, unique magnon properties allow for the utilization of alternative computing concepts resulting in a drastic increase of speed and performance of modern processors.
In a study recently published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature Communications ("Magnon transistor for all-magnon data processing"), the Kaiserslautern scientists have realized the transistor – the main component of any modern computer – solely based on Magnons.
The transistor was proposed for the first time and a proof of concept device was demonstrated. The density of magnons in this three-terminal device could be decreased one thousand times while flowing from the transistor's Source to its Drain via the injection of magnons in the Gate. The interaction between magnon flows was so efficient due to a strong natural nonlinearity of magnons which was enhanced using an artificial magnetic material – the magnonic crystal.
The demonstrated “magnon controls magnon” approach will be used in future for the realization of a single-chip magnetic processor in which Terabytes of data will be processed purely within the same magnonic system.