Spin Valves (image) Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf Caption The illustration shows the process of fabricating lateral spin valves. Left: Initially, the alloy's structure is highly ordered. Iron atoms (blue) and aluminium atoms (white) are arranged in continuous layers. Center: Ion bombardment (red) upsets the order leading to a random distribution of atoms. Only narrow stripes that are coated with a protective polymer resist are spared, and retain their atomic ordering. Right: Ion-irradiated regions become ferromagnetic. With the help of an externally applied magnetic field, the stripes can be arranged parallel or antiparallel, as shown here. Credit Sander Münster Usage Restrictions None Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.