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Spin tunnel field-effect transistors based on two-dimensional van der Waals heterostructures

Cornell Affiliated Author(s)


S. Jiang
L. Li
Z. Wang
J. Shan
K.F. Mak


A transistor based on spin rather than charge—a spin transistor—could potentially offer non-volatile data storage and improved performance compared with traditional transistors. Many approaches have been explored to realize spin transistors, but their development remains a considerable challenge. The recent discovery of two-dimensional magnetic insulators such as chromium triiodide (CrI 3 ), which offer electrically switchable magnetic order and an effective spin filtering effect, can provide new operating principles for spin transistors. Here, we report spin tunnel field-effect transistors (TFETs) based on dual-gated graphene/CrI 3 /graphene tunnel junctions. The devices exhibit an ambipolar behaviour and tunnel conductance that is dependent on the magnetic order in the CrI 3 tunnel barrier. The gate voltage switches the tunnel barrier between interlayer antiferromagnetic and ferromagnetic states under a constant magnetic bias near the spin-flip transition, thus effectively and reversibly altering the device between a low and a high conductance state, with large hysteresis. By electrically controlling the magnetization configurations instead of the spin current, our spin TFETs achieve a high–low conductance ratio approaching 400%, suggesting they could be of value in the development of non-volatile memory applications. © 2019, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.

Date Published


Nature Electronics





Number of Pages





Group (Lab)

Jie Shan Group
Kin Fai Mak Group

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