The EU funds two new graphene spintronics projects

The european Graphene Flagship project has announced 16 newly-funded graphene FLAG-ERA projects. These projects which will become Partnering Projects of the Graphene Flagship – receiving around €11 million in funding overall.

Two of these projects will investigate the promising properties of graphene for spintronics. The SOgraphMEM project will test specific materials for a novel branch of spintronics called spin-orbitronics, while the DIMAG project will fabricate new layered magnetic materials with optimal characteristics for spintronics applications.

Researchers discover that current flow in a ferromagnetic conductor can produce a magnetic-moment directed spin polarization

Researchers from NYU and IBM Research have created a spintronics device from a ferromagnetic conductor and discovered that current flow in the conductor can produce a spin polarization that is in a direction set by its magnetic moment.

This discovery means that magnetic moment direction can be set in just about any desired direction to then set the spin polarization - this is not possible using the contours of the spin Hall effect in non-magnetic heavy metals.

Researchers develop a magnetic sensor that is made from only 11-atoms

Researchers from Delft University of Technology developed a magnetic wave sensor that is only 11 atoms in size. The sensor includes an antenna, a readout capability, a reset button and a memory unit.

11-Atom magnetic sensor, Delft University

The researchers say that this tiny sensor will be used to learn more about the behavior of magnetic waves, and could one day be the basis of spintronics devices.

KAIST researchers show how to use graphene as an active spintronic component

Researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have developed a new method to apply graphene as an active spintronic component for generating, controlling, and detecting spin current without ferromagnetic electrodes or magnetic fields.

The KAIST researchers observed highly efficient charge-to-spin interconversion via the gate-tunable Rashba-Edelstien effect (REE) in graphene heterostructures. The researchers used graphene stacked on top of a large spin-orbit coupling transition metal dichalcogenide material (2H-TaS2).

Researchers incorporate an antiferromagnetic layer in an MTJ for the first time

Researchers from the University of Arizona discovered that in common Magnetic Tunnel Junctions (MTJ), there's a thin (2D) layer of Iron Oxide. This layer was found to act as a contaminant which lowers the performance achieved by MTJs.

Magnetic Tunnel Junction schematic (UArizona)

This Iron Oxide layer, however, can also be seen as a blessing - the researchers discovered that the layer behaves as a so-called antiferromagnet at extremely cold temperatures (below -245 degrees Celsius). Antiferromagnets are promising as these can be manipulated at Terahertz frequencies, about 1,000 times faster than existing, silicon-based technology. This is the first research that shows how Antiferromagnets can be controlled as part of MTJs.