The essential aim of spin electronics, or spintronics, is to use the spin of quantum mechanical particles to carry signals and process information. Conventional electronics technology relies on the charges of electrons and holes for this purpose. Signals consist of voltage pulses, each of which is a bundle of charged carriers. Furthermore, conventional digital electronics is classical in nature in that bits are defined in terms of such discrete charge pulses. Here, a ‘1’ bit may be represented by a negative voltage pulse whereas a ‘0’ bit would be the absence of such a pulse.Devices continue to diminish in size in order to achieve higher speeds. As this shrinkage occurs, design parameters are impacted in such a way that the materials in current use are pushed to their limits. Moore’s Law states that the logic density, or amount of storable information per unit area, in silicon-based integrated circuits doubles every 18 months.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(02)05423-8