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

Researchers show SiC is a promising spintronics material

Two independent studies published recently suggest that Silicon Carbide (SiC) is a promising material for atomic-scale spintronics. Both reported their results in Nature Materials.

The first study (by researchers from the University of Chicago, the University of California, Linköping University, and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency) shows that individual electron spins in high-purity monocrystalline 4H-SiC can be isolated and coherently controlled. These states exhibit exceptionally long ensemble Hahn-echo spin coherence times, exceeding 1ms.

Young University of Alabama researcher granted $500,000 for spintronics research

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a $500,000 CAREER Award grant for Dr. Claudia Mewes from the towards her spintronics research. The CAREER Award is the NSF’s most prestigious recognition of top-performing young scientists.

Dr. Claudia's research will combine different theories to close the gap between materials design and device performance with the ultimate goal of finding materials that work best in those environments. Dr. Claudia's research includes an educational outreach component looking to increase the number of young girls interested in pursuing careers in science.

Researchers show that plasmon resonance can be useful for spintronics applications

Researchers from Tohoku University and the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) have confirmed that surface plasmon resonance can be used to generate spin currents.

Tohoku JST plasmon resonance for spintronics

Surface plasmon resonance happens when electrons are hit by photos and react by vibrating. It is commonly used in bio-sensors and lab-on-a-chop systems. The researchers have shown that directing light on a certain magnetic material, a spin current can be produced and controlled.

Berkeley Lab Reports on Electric Field Switching of Ferromagnetism at Room Temp

Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Cornell University managed to use an electric field to reverse the magnetization direction in a multiferroic spintronic device at room temperature.

Berkeley Lab Electric-Field Switching of Ferromagnetism render

The researchers showed that 180-degree magnetization switching in the multiferroic bismuth ferrite can be achieved at room temperature with an external electric field when the kinetics of the switching involves a two-step process. They say that this demonstration, which runs counter to conventional scientific wisdom, points a new way towards spintronics applications.

Powerful magnet developed, can selectively control of the flow of spins

Researchers from Spain discovered a way of using lead atoms and graphene to create a powerful magnetic field by the interaction of the electrons' spin with their orbital movement. The scientists believe that this discovery could come in handy for spintronics applications.

The researchers laid a layer of lead on a layer of graphene, grown over an iridium crystal. This way, the lead forms 'islands' below the graphene and the electrons of this 2D material behave as if in the presence of a huge 80-tesla magnetic field, which allows for the selective control of the flow of spins. The scientists also state that under these conditions certain electric states are immune to defects and impurities.

Singapore launches a new Spintronics Consortium

Several Universities and commercial companies announced the establishment of a new Spintronics Consortium in Singapore, to be called the Singapore Spintronics Consortium (SG-SPIN). The Consortium will encourage and help researchers to explore innovative spin-based technologies for sensor, memory and logic applications.

The founding members of SG-SPIN are the National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Applied Materials, Delta Electronics and GlobalFoundried. The NUS will lead the consortium.

QuantumWise releases a new ATK software version with new spintronics features

QuantumWise released a new version of their Atomistix ToolKit (ATK) simulation software. The new version speeds up simulation performance by 40%. The new version also includes several new features, including noncollinear spin enables computations of spin transfer torque and other properties of magnetic tunnel junctions.

MgO/CFA p-MTJ sketchA sketch of a MgO/CFA p-MTJ

ATK 2014 introduces several new methodology improvements which make noncollinear simulations fast and robust. ATK thus enables studies of transport problems using Non-Equilibrium Green’s Functions (NEGF) combined with density functional theory (DFT), including spin-orbit interaction and meta-GGA functionals for accurate band gap predictions of the insulating barrier in the MTJ.

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