Spintronics, the storage and transport of electronic spins in semiconductor devices may revolutionize the electronic device industry, with spin based transistors, memories, and opto-electronic devices replacing their charge-based counterparts. For instance, giant and tunnel magnetoresistance effects are already used in modern hard drives, and non-volatile spin-logic devices are being studied for inclusion in future computers. Ultimately, spintronics could bring practical logic and memory down to the single electron spin level.
The exchange couplings present in magnetically-doped semiconductors are orders of magnitude larger in energy than the spin-orbit and hyperfine interactions, and the interactions between carriers and magnetic ions in magnetic semiconductors may be engineered through heterostructures grown with molecular beam epitaxy.
Spin phenomena may be quantified to a striking degree of precision using a variety of optical and electronic techniques that enable one to probe spin dynamics as a function of time and space.