Spin based device and circuit are proposed as potential alternatives to current electronic technology because of their potential to achieve lower power consumptions. However, currently, the energy efficiency in spin or magnetic related devices remains to be poor compared with their electronic counterparts, mainly because the generation and the utilization of spins in those devices are always accompanied with large dissipative charge currents.
In this talk, I will show that by utilizing spin orbit interaction in solid state materials through the spin Hall effect or its quantum version – topological insulators, one can achieve very efficient spin current generation. The induced spin current can be further utilized for manipulating magnetic moments in various circumstances. Since the operations of those spin orbit electronics can be realized with pure spin currents rather than spin polarized charge currents, much lower power consumptions compared with conventional devices can be realized. The low power consumption and high operating speed of spin orbit interaction based devices can potentially help to solve the scaling issues associated with the semiconductor technology.