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

erkeley 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.

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.

A 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.

Graphene discovered to have a unique spin relaxation mechanism

Researchers at the Spanish ICN2 Theoretical and Computational Nanoscience Group discovered that graphene has an unprecendented spin relaxation mechanism for non-magnetic samples. This may hold great promise for spintronics applications such as MRAM memory.

This mechanism is unique to graphene and may enable manipulating spin degree of freedom in future information-processing technologies.

New discovered link between magnetism and electricity

Researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and the University of Cambridge in the UK have shown that you can directly generate an electric current in a magnetic material by rotating the material's magnetization.

This new link between magnetism and electricity, called charge pumping, may find applications in spintronics devices. It will enable new nano-scale magnetic information detection techniques and can also be used to generate very high-frequency alternating currents.

Zigzag-edged graphene nanoribbons suitable for spintronics applications

A zigzag-edged graphene nanoribbon is the most magnetic type - and these ribbons are considered the most suitable ones for spintronics applications. Researchers from UCLA and Tohoku University developed a new self-assembly method to fabricate pristine zigzag graphene nanoribbons.

The researchers say they can control the ribbons length, edge configuration and location on the substrate.

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