Coulomb blockade anisotropic magnetoresistance: Singleelectronics meets spintronics

Physics – Condensed Matter – Strongly Correlated Electrons

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Scientific paper

Single-electronics and spintronics are among the most intensively investigated potential complements or alternatives to CMOS electronics. Single-electronics, which is based on the discrete charge of the electron, is the ultimate in miniaturization and electro-sensitivity. Spintronics, which is based on manipulating electron spins,delivers high magneto-sensitivity and non-volatile memory effects. So far, major developments in the two fields have followed independent paths with only a few experimental studies of hybrid single-electronic/spintronic devices. Intriguing new effects have been discovered in such devices but these have not, until now, offered the possibility of useful new functionalities. Here we demonstrate a device which shows a new physical effect, Coulomb blockade anisotropic magnetoresistance, and which offers a route to non-volatile, low-field, and highly electro- and magneto-sensitive operation. Since this new phenomenon reflects the magnetization orientation dependence of the classical single-electron charging energy it does not impose constraints on the operational temperature associated with more subtle quantum effects, such as resonant or spin-coherent tunneling.

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