The photo shows a checkered block with the written word "theory". The word "practice" is also depicted with wooden stones placed on top. The two words are connected by arrows. In the background you can see an office desk blurred.

Dr. Ismael Diez Perez, King’s, Biomolecular Electronics Lab; Gianaurelio Cuniberti, TUD, Chair of Materials Science and Nanotechnology

The Chirality-Induced Spin Selectivity (CISS) has recently emerged as a powerful alternative to ease the design of nanoscale spintronic devices. The intrinsic room-temperature spin-polarization power of a chiral molecular structure allows one to manipulate and control spintronic interfaces without the need for a permanent magnet, which significantly simplifies the device design. Beyond applications, the fundamental understanding of CISS extends all the way to biology, bringing explanations to outstandingly efficient biological processes such as biorecognition or long-range charge diffusion.

Gianaurelio Cuniberti
Gianaurelio Cuniberti

The present King’s College-TUD consortium aims for a comprehensive study of the spintronic details of a chiral molecule/electrode interface as function of key experimental parameters determining its spin-polarization performance, namely, intrinsic molecular dipole, molecular length, electrode/molecule coupling strength and electrode material. Comprehensively measuring all these variables in the exact same system places us directly in position to, first, fully understand the physical basis of a CISS-based molecule/electrode interface, and second, configure a much desired list of design principles for future CISS-based spintronic devices.

The concepts learnt here will also help boost understanding the role of homochiral motifs recurrently exploited in biological systems in topics such as local magnetic fields affecting enzymatic reactivity and/or the possible role of spin-polarized currents in the long-range electron transfer/transport in biology.