Spintronics-Info: the spintronics experts

Spintronics-Info is a news hub and knowledge center born out of keen interest in spintronic technologies.

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.

Recent spintronics News

Researchers report room temperature spin-orbit torque switching using a topological insulator

Researchers from NUS have demonstrated for the first time room temperature magnetization switching driven by giant spin-orbit torques (SOT) in topological insulator/conventional ferromagnetic heterostructures with an extremely low current density.

SOT switching using Bi2Se3 on NiFe (NUS)

The researchers believe that such switching that uses so little power could be used to scale up spintronics devices. The researchers achieved the switching using an 8-nm layer of Bi2Se3 grown on top of a 6 nm layer of NiFe, a widely used ferromagnet.

US researchers designed an efficient graphene-based spintronics transistor

Researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln designed a spintronics transistor that is based on graphene. The researchers say that such a device could be highly efficient, run at room temperature (and above) and feature a nonvolatile on-off current ratio and electrically controllable spin polarization.

Top-gated graphene-based magnetoelectric spinFET design

The device is based on the discovery that an external voltage can be used to control the magnetic properties of few-layer graphene interfaced with chromium oxide. This is a theoretical research at this stage but the new device structure is expected to feature a large electrically controllable spin current.

Frustrated magnetic skyrmions may find applications in future spintronic devices

Researchers from Japan and China have discovered the exotic dynamics of frustrated magnetic skyrmions - which are different from that of magnetic skyrmions in common ferromagnetic materials. Magnetic skyrmions are very interesting for several spintronic applications, including magnetic memory and logic computing devices.

Skyrmions and antiskyrmions in a frustrated magnet photo

In conventional ferromagnetic materials, the helicity (degree of freedom) of a skyrmion cannot be effectively controlled, but the researchers found that in frustrated magnetic materials it is possible to control the skyrmion helicity by utilizing the helicity locking-unlocking transition of the material. The researcher further conclude that one can use frustrated skyrmions as a binary memory utilizing two stable Bloch-type states, where the helicity can be switched by applying current.

Researchers find extremely long spin relaxation lifetime in graphene/TMDC structures

Researchers from Spain's ICN2 institute have performed numerical simulations for spin relaxation in graphene/TMDC heterostructures, and found that these structure feature a spin lifetime anisotropy that is orders of magnitude larger than anything observed in 2D materials - and in fact these results point to a qualitatively new regime of spin relaxation.

Graphene on TMDC image (ICN2)

Spin relaxation lifetime means that time it takes for the spin of electrons in a spin current to lose their spin (return to the natural random disordered state). A long lifetime is very important for spintronics devices. This new study reveals that the rate at which spins relax in graphene/TMDC systems depends strongly on whether they are pointing in or out of the graphene plane, with out-of-plane spins lasting tens or hundreds of times longer than in-plane spins.

New 3D nano-magnets could enable future spintronics device structures

Researchers from the University of Cambridge and TU Eindhoven have created a nanoscale magnetic circuit capable of moving information through three-dimensional space. This so-called 3D nanoprinting, combined with traditional methods enables functional circuits that can process information, which could lead to future spintronics device development.

Fabrication process of 3D nanomagnets (UOC, TUE)

To create these 3D nanomagnets, the researchers used an electron microscope along with a gas injector to 3-D print a suspended scaffold on a traditional 2-D Silicon substrate. After 3-D nano-printing, magnetic material is deposited over the whole ensemble to allow information transport.

Researchers classify the spin-orbit effects of holes confined to one dimension quantum wires

Electron 'holes' in semiconductors are very attractive for future spintronics devices due to their unique spin properties, but until now researchers did not have a good understanding of these spin properties. Researchers from Australia's UNSW have classified the spin-orbit effects of holes confined to one dimension for the first time.

Device structure used to research electric field across quantum wire (UNSW)

The researchers started out by trying to explain a 2006 experimental result, that showed that in on-dimensional quantum wires, spin-splitting was extremely sensitive to the direction of the magnetic field, unlike electrons which are insensitive to the field direction. In the recent study, the researchers identified a new spin-orbit interaction factor caused by the holes’ confinement to one dimension, and found that this new factor explained the 2006 experimental result.

Electrical spin control in ultra-low-power transistors enabled though the use of graphene and TMDC

Researchers from the University of York and Roma Tre University developed a method to build ultra-low-power transistors using composite materials based on single layers of graphene and transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDC). These materials can be used to achieve an electrical control over electron spin.

Graphene and TDMCs to enable efficient transistors image

The teams explained “we found this can be achieved with little effort when 2D graphene is paired with certain semiconducting layered materials. Our calculations show that the application of small voltages across the graphene layer induces a net polarization of conduction spins".