ZDNet’s own Rupert Goodwins once told me that he liked to say "room temperature" in the hearing of spintronics researchers, just to see their faces fall.
But increasingly, spintronics researchers are talking about real room temperature experiments, and we have another example for you. Researchers in Japan have managed to electrically induce ferromagnetism at room temperature – something that has thus far been reserved for the cryogenic end of the thermometer.
Writing in the journal Science the researchers explain that a double layer transistor structure was key to their success at ambient temperatures.
The problem is that at room temperatures, generating the concentration of electrons needed to induce ferromagnetism needs voltages that cause electric breakdown in the cobalt-doped titanium oxide semiconductor. However, once the semiconductor is made into a double-layer transistor structure, this stops being a problem, and the researchers were able to demonstrateEven a small applied voltage can create a large electrical field.
The next problem facing the researchers is exactly why this should be the case.
There are more details at Nanowerk.