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 from Germany's Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) developed and tested a new technique to fabricate spin valves using ion beams. The researchers managed to structure an iron aluminium alloy in such a way as to subdivide the material into individually magnetizable regions at the nanometer scale - and function as a spin valve.
This is a different approach to standard spin valves, made from successive non-magnetic and ferromagnetic layers. The new spin valves has a lateral spin valve geometry, where the different magnetic regions are organized one next to the other as opposed to in layers one on top of the other. This enables the spin valves to work in parallel on large surfaces, and also means that that the production costs are low.
Researchers from North Carolina State University integrated Vanadium Dioxide (currently used to make infrared sensors) as a single crystal on a silicon substrate. This allowed them to develop smart infrared sensors in which the sensor and computational function are embedded on a single chip. Such devices may enable faster and more energy efficient sensors.
In addition to developing a new sensor architecture, the researchers also managed to make the Vanadium Dioxide magnetic using a high-power nanosecond-pulsed laser beam. They hope this will enable them to develop Spintronics sensors that incorporate infrared sensors and magnetic sensors on a single chip.
Researchers from the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) developed a new type of tunnel device structure in which both the tunnel barrier and transport channel are made from graphene. The researchers say that this device features the highest spin injection values yet measured for graphene, and this design could pave they way towards highly functional and scalable graphene electronic and spintronic devices.
The tunnel barrier is made from dilutely fluorinated graphene while the charge and transport layer is made from graphene. The researcher demonstrated tunnel injection through the fluorinated graphene, and lateral transport and electrical detection of pure spin current in the graphene channel.
Researchers manage to switch robust ferromagnetism close to room temperature by using low electric fields
Researchers from Germany, France and the UK managed to switch on and off robust ferromagnetism close to room temperature by using low electric fields. They hope such work will lead to applications in low-power Spintronics devices.
The researchers used a ferroelectric BaTiO3 substrate and covered it with a thin film of magnetic FeRh. They then demonstrated how the magnetic order of the sample changes dramatically, when a moderate external electric field is applied
The European Research Council (ERC) granted a six-year €9.7 million grant to professor Jairo Sinova from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) for its spintronics research. Professor Sinova will collaborate with researchers from the UK and the Czech Republic.
The project is titled "Spin-charge conversion and spin caloritronics at hybrid organic-inorganic interfaces". The researchers hopes that by combining principles of inorganic spintronics with organic materials (polymers) they will achieve better results than if they used purely inorganic systems. The advantages of using polymers include the flexibility of the material, control over the physical properties, and the fact that they are relatively easy to produce.
Researchers from Cambridge showed that superconductors could be used as an energy-efficient source for spintronics devices - this was not believed to be possible by most researchers. Superconducting spintronics devices may enable powerful circuits that consumer very little power (in fact superconductors offer 100% energy efficiency).
The researchers showed that electrons spin can be detected and manipulated in the current flowing from a superconductor. They achieved that feat by adding an intervening magnetic layer (made from Holmium) to the superconductor. This layer allowed them to manipulate the electrons spin.
This book covers the most recent research in spin-current generation, spin-calorimetric effect, voltage effects on magnetic properties, spin-injection phenomena, giant magnetoresistance (GMR), and tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR). This second edition provides the background to understand this novel physical phenomenon and focuses on the most recent developments and research relating to spintronics.
Researchers from MIT discovered that under a powerful magnetic field and at very low temperatures, graphene can filter electrons according to the direction of their spin. This is something that cannot be done by any conventional electronic system - and may make graphene very useful for quantum computing.
it is known that when a magnetic field is turned on perpendicular to a graphene flake, current flows only along the edge, and in one direction (clockwise or counterclockwise, depending on the magnetic field orientation), while the bulk graphene sheet remains insulating. This is called the Quantum Hall effect.
2013 is soon over, and it is time for our end-of-the year post. Here are the top 10 stories posted on Spintronics-Info in the past year, ranked by popularity:
I wish all our readers a happy Christmas and a happy new 2014!
Professor Laurens Molenkamp from the University of Würzburg has been awarded a Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize from the German Research Foundation (DFG). This prestigious award comes with a €2.5 million (almost $3.5 million).
Laurens Molenkamp is regarded as one of the fathers of semiconductor spintronics. He was also the first researchers to succeed in the experimental realization of topological insulators.