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Magnetic-field-controlled reconfigurable semiconductor logic

Sungjung Joo, Taeuyueb Kim, SangHoon Shin, Ju Young Lim, Jinki Hong*, Jing Dong Song*, Joonyeon Chang, Hyun-Woo Lee, Kungwon Rhie, Suk Hee Han, Kyung-Ho Shin, Mark Johnson

Logic devices based on magnetism show promise for increasing computational efficiency while decreasing consumed power. They offer zero quiescent power and yet combine novel functions such as programmable logic operation and non-volatile built-in memory. However, practical efforts to adapt a magnetic device to logic suffer from a low signal-to-noise ratio and other performance attributes that are not adequate for logic gates. Rather than exploiting magnetoresistive effects that result from spin-dependent transport of carriers, we have approached the development of a magnetic logic device in a different way: we use the phenomenon of large magnetoresistance found in non-magnetic semiconductors in high electric fields. Here we report a device showing a strong diode characteristic that is highly sensitive to both the sign and the magnitude of an external magnetic field, offering a reversible change between two different characteristic states by the application of a magnetic field. This feature results from magnetic control of carrier generation and recombination in an InSb p–n bilayer channel. Simple circuits combining such elementary devices are fabricated and tested, and Boolean logic functions including AND, OR, NAND and NOR are performed. They are programmed dynamically by external electric or magnetic signals, demonstrating magnetic-field-controlled semiconductor reconfigurable logic at roomtemperature. This magnetic technology permits a new kind of spintronic device, characterized as a current switch rather than a voltage switch, and provides a simple and compact platform for non-volatile reconfigurable logic devices.

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