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Spintronics exploits effects of the intrinsic spin of the electron and the associated magnetic moment in addition to the fundamental electronic charge on the transport properties in a solid-state environment.

Novel spin-dependent transport concepts such as spin accumulation, spin-polarized tunneling, spin-transfer torque, or spin injection are explored with regard to devices that utilize the electron spin as a state variable. The concepts are also extended to nanostructures or even molecular systems, making up the field of nano-spintronics, which is the spin-polarized counterpart to conventional molecular electronics, and thus includes spin effects in quantum transport.