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Toward 'valleytronic' devices for data storage or computer logic systems

Faster, more efficient data storage and computer logic systems could be on the horizon thanks to a new way of tuning electronic energy levels in two-dimensional films of crystal, discovered by researchers at MIT. The discovery could ultimately pave the way for the development of so-called “valleytronic” devices, which harness the way electrons gather around two equal energy states, known as valleys. Engineers have for some time warned that we are reaching the limits of how small we can build conventional electronic transistors, which are based on electrons’ electrical charge. As a result, researchers have been investigating the utility of a property of electrons known as spin, to store and manipulate data; such technologies are known as spintronics.

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