They are a part of the suite of technologies known as "spintronics," which use the magnetic property of electrons called "spin" to store and transmit data.
A spin valve is composed of alternating layers of electrically conducting and non-conducting materials.
Organic semiconductors are the material of choice for advanced spin valve devices, but conductivity issues have hindered their use.
Researchers at ORNL's Spallation Neutron Source have discovered that inserting a barrier of lithium fluoride between layers of a spin valve improves the transmission of electrons and the magnetic dynamics of the system, significantly improving the efficiency of novel organic semiconductor spin valve systems.
Provided by Oak Ridge National Laboratory