A new type of material called a "spin-valley half-metal" has been predicted by calculations done by physicists in Russia, Japan and the US. While the material has not yet been characterized in the laboratory, the team says it could find use in new types of biocompatible and carbon-based electronics..
Half-metals are materials in which only electrons with a specific spin polarization (spin-up, for example) participate in electrical conduction. These materials can therefore create currents with 100% spin polarization. This means that half-metals could be very useful for making spintronic devices – components that use the spin of the electron to store and process information.