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Cornell-Penn State research on 'topological spintronics' featured in Nature

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A team led by Dan Ralph (Cornell) & Nitin Samarth (Penn State) has demonstrated that spin-oriented electrons residing on the surface of a topological insulator (bismuth selenide) can be used to efficiently manipulate the magnetization of a vicinal ferromagnet. The experiment, described in the July 24 issue of Nature, shows that the "spin torque" generated by the topological insulator can be 10 times more efficient than in the most promising materials studied to date. The phenomenon is observed at room temperature, making 'topological spintronics' a promising new approach to information technology.