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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Researchers from the University of California at Riverside developed a way to introduce magnetism in graphene while still preserving electronics properties. This new method is superior to doping as it does not damage graphene's electronic properties.
The research team used yttrium iron garnet grown using laser molecular beam epitaxy. They placed a single layer of graphene on an atom-thick sheet of yttrium iron garnet, and discovered that graphene “borrowed” the magnetic properties of the material. The researchers state that they managed to avoid interfering with graphene’s electrical transport properties by using the electric insulator compound.
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.
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.