Spintronics News, Resources & Information

Spintronics is the new science of computers and memory chips that are based on electron spin rather than (or in addition to) the charge (used in electronics). Spintronics is an exciting field that holds promise to build faster and more efficient computers and other devices

Spin-based memory cells can be trained to learn like a brain synapse

Researchers from France's Universite Paris-Sud and the CEA institute discovered that the probabilistic nature of Spin-Torque MRAM (STT-MRAM) devices can be used to create synapses-like neural system - effectively to create low-power devices that mimic the human's brain method of operation.

STT-RAM cell synaptic like junction photo

MRAM cells (or MTJs) store data using electrons magnetic spin, which is a stochastic switching type of device - that needs to apply a current for a long-enough time to make sure the information changed as you wish. In this new suggestion, you take advantage of the stochastic switching and apply current for a short time - which can be used to make the device learn progressively. This effectively means that MTJs can be "trained" to learn new information.

Singapore allocates $3.7 million to support Spintronics research projects

The Singapore's National Research Foundation (NRF) announced a new S$5 million ($3.7 million USD) fund to support Spintronics industry collaborations with research institutes in Singapore.

Last year the National University of Singapore together with Nanyang Technological University launched a new consortium (the Singapore Spintronics Consortium, or SG-SPIN), with an aim to encourage collaborative research partnerships between industry and the academia. The new $3.7 million fund will support existing and new SG-SPIN projects.

New Spintronics book: Recent progress in silicon-based spintronic materials

This book covers the aspects of theoretical and experimental approaches for silicon based spintronic materials. The theory parts emphasize on two first-principles methods - the GW method to improve the insulating gaps of the half metals which are a class of materials ideal for spintronic applications, and the linear response theory to calculate electric and magnetic susceptibilities.

Researchers created a zero-moment spin-polarized half metal for the first time

Researchers at Trinity College in Dublin discovered a new class of magnetic materials, based on Mn-Ga alloys. The Mn2RuxGa, a zero-moment half metal, has some unique properties that may make it especially suited for spintronics applications.

Mn2RuxGa crystal structure

The Mn2RuxGa material has no net magnetic moment, but it has full spin polarization. This means that is does not suffer from its own demagnetizing forces and it does not create any stray magnetic fields. It is also immune to external magnetic fields. Coupled with spin polarization, this means it may be extremely efficient in spintronics as there will be no radiation loss during magnetic switching.

Researchers develop new promising low-symmetry crystal for spintronics applications

Researchers from the University of Michigan developed a new compound, created from a unique low-symmetry crystal structure, that is very promising for spintronics applications.

The new crystal compound is made from Iron, Bismuth and Selenium, and this creates a complex crystal that offers greater flexibility compared to current crystalline structures. The researchers says that the new compound enables them to arrange atoms in a huge number of different combinations so that they can manipulate conductivity and magnetism independently.

Korean researchers managed to create a flexible film suitable for spintronics applications

Researchers from Korea discovered that making a thin film of multiferroic material bismuth ferrite improved the material's electric and magnetic properties. Bismuth Ferrite works as a spintronics material at room temperature, and this film is flexible - which could lead to flexible spintronics devices.

To create the film, the researchers used bismuth ferrite nanoparticles (about 24nm in size) mixed in a polymer solution and then dried - which resulted in a flexible and slightly-stretchable film. The thin film kept its improved electric and magnetic properties even when bent into a cylinder.

EU's Graphene Flagship is looking for a partner company for spintronics research

The Graphene Flagship announced a €350,000 work package that explores the potential of graphene spintronics for future devices and applications. The GF is searching for a new partner company to support device development and commercialisation of graphene spintronics, by applying it in specific device architectures dedicated to commercially viable applications and determining the required figures of merits.

The project's budget is for the period 1 April 2016 – 31 March 2018, and includes devices which require optimized (long distance) spin transport, spin-based sensors, and new integrated two-dimensional spin valve architectures. The Graphene Flagship expects that at the start of the Horizon 2020 phase (April 2016), spin injection and spin transport in graphene and related materials will have been characterised and the resulting functional properties will have been understood and modeled.


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