Article last updated on: Jan 05, 2020

The Early Years

  • 1988 - Giant Magnetoresistive Effect (GME) discovered by Albert Fert in France and Peter Gruenberg in Germany.
  • 1989 - IBM scientists made a string of key discoveries about the "giant magnetoresistive" effect in thin-film structures.
  • 1997 - first GMR (Giant magnetoresistive) Harddisk head introduced by IBM.
  • 2000 - University of Buffalo get 10$ million to developr specific ferromagnetic materials for use in "spintronics
  • 2001 - University of Arkansas physicists have successfully injected a stream of electrons with identical spins into a semiconductor.
  • 2001 - IBM's 'Pixie Dust' Breakthrough to Quadruple Disk Drive Density
  • 2002 - A new device allows the polarization (or spin) of an electron to determine the switching of the device
  • 2002 - Plastic Shows Promise For Spintronics, Magnetic Computer Memory
  • 2003 - Min Ouyang and David Awschalom of the University of California at Santa Barbara have transferred electron spins across molecular ‘bridges’ between quantum dots for the first time.


  • February - Jing Shi and colleagues at the University of Utah in the US have made the first organic “spin valve”
  • March - A family of silicon-based semiconductors that exhibit magnetic properties has been discovered.
  • June - Electrical detection of the spin resonance of a single electron in a silicon field-effect transistor
  • July - IBM scientists view a single electron spin with a special atomic force microscope
  • November - The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) and MIT's Francis Bitter Magnet Laboratory have launched a 10-year program in spintronics.


  • July - New Spintronic Speed Record - 2GHz MRAM devised.
  • July - Discovery of 'Doping' Mechanism in Semiconductor Nanocrystals.


  • January - Researchers at the University of Michigan created a computer chip based on the esoteric science of quantum mechanics.
  • February - Breakthrough 1.2 Petabyte Spintronics 3.5 Disk Drive.
  • July - A team of Princeton scientists has turned semiconductors into magnets by the precise placement of metal atoms within a material from which chips are made.
  • July - Freescale begins selling 4-Mbit MRAM.
  • September - Spin Hall effect detected at room temperature.