A sub-femtojoule electrical spin-switch based on optically trapped polariton condensates


Practical challenges to extrapolating Mooretextquoterights law favour alternatives to electrons as information carriers. Two promising candidates are spin-based and all-optical architectures, the former offering lower energy consumption, the latter superior signal transfer down to the level of chip-interconnects. Polaritons—spinor quasi-particles composed of semiconductor excitons and microcavity photons—directly couple exciton spins and photon polarizations, combining the advantages of both approaches. However, their implementation for spintronics has been hindered because polariton spins can be manipulated only optically or by strong magnetic fields. Here we use an external electric field to directly control the spin of a polariton condensate, bias-tuning the emission polarization. The nonlinear spin dynamics offers an alternative route to switching, allowing us to realize an electrical spin-switch exhibiting ultralow switching energies below 0.5 fJ. Our results lay the foundation for development of devices based on the electro-optical control of coherent spin ensembles on a chip.

Nature Materials