Buckyballs for Spintronics research granted €1.5 million from the ERC

Researcher Michel de Jong of the NanoElectronics group (MESA+) in the University of Twente (Netherlands) received a €1.5 million grant from the European Research Council to fund his Spintronics work (this is his second ERC grant). Michel de Jong is focusing on organic materials, in particular in Buckyballs (spherical C60 molecules held together by weak bonds) sandwiched between two magnetic materials.

Michel explains that these molecules have very little effect on electron spin, which is a great advantage as it enables them to store spin information for much longer periods of time than silicon. Buckyballs have also been used to create Graphene Quantum Dots.

Organic molecules can exhibit n-type magnetism

Researchers from the Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, found out that Organic molecules can exhibit n-type magnetism. They say that conjugated polymers make strong candidates for future spintronic applications.

While organic compounds are interesting for spintronics due to their extremely long spin lifetimes (because of weak spin relaxation effects), it's not very easy to manipulate the spin orientation in organic spin devices. The new class of molecules (known as spin crossover compounds) may solve this issue as their spin state can be changed from low spin to high spin by an external perturbation.

The University of Utah's new $21.5 million Spintronics and Plasmonics research center

The University of Utah announced a new $21.5 million basic research center aimed towards "next-generation materials for plasmonics and spintronics". The new "Center of Excellence in Materials Research and Innovation" will be funded by the National Science Foundation ($12.5 million), the Utah Science Technology and Research ($6.5 million) initiative and the University of Utah ($3 million).

The spintronics team wil be lead by Physicist Brian Saam. The research effort will center on developing organic spintronic semiconductors.

Researchers created a hybrid Spintronics chip

Researchers from Ohio State University created a hybrid chip that combines a regular semiconductor with an organic (plastic) spintronic memory device. The plastic spintronics memory device was developed last year in the University, and now it has been incorporated into a circuit based on gallium arsenide.

Spintronic logic could (theoretically) require much less power and generate less hit than current electronics, and a hybrid design could accelerate the commercialization of such devices.

The European Research Council grants €1.3 million to CIC nanogune's SPINTROS project

The European Research Council granted €1.3 million to Spain's CIC nanogune's SPINTROS project - as it has been awarded the Starting Grant prize for innovation ideas in electronics. CIC Nanogune is a new nanotech research center in the Basque Country, Spain.

The Spintros (Spin Transport in Organic Semiconductors) project aims to explore news materials and functions in order to design and develop new electronic devices. The project focuses on the design tasks, manufacture and study of electronic devices at a nanometric scale in just one molecule.

Researchers show that a magnetically polarized current can be manipulated by electric fields

Researchers from the UK and Switzerland have shown that a magnetically polarized current can be manipulated by electric fields. This could pave the way towards combining memory and processing power on the same chip.

The researchers have investigated how layers of Lithium Fluoride (LiF) - a material that has an intrinsic electric field - can modify the spin of electrons transported through these spin valves. This is the first time that it was shown how you can proactively control spin with electric fields.

Researchers use tiny magnets measure how magnetic polarisation is lost, will lead to better efficiencies in Spintronics devices

Researchers from the Queen Mary University of London and Switzerland-based Paul Scherrer Institute have succeeded to measure how magnetic polarisation is lost. The resulting improved understanding of the workings of electronic devices using the spin degree of freedom, and the field of organic spintronics in general, finally paves the way for ensuring higher efficiencies in spin transfer, and thus for the future of spin-based electronic devices.

The researchers came out with a new depth-resolved technique for measuring the spin polarisation of current-injected electrons in an organic spin valve and found that the temperature dependence of the measured spin diffusion length was correlated to the device’s magneto-resistance. The scientists used elementary particles called muons that act as tiny magnets, to measure the magnetic field within the device.

Spin valves are usually made up of at least three layers – two magnetic layers separated by a non-magnetic one – and the team attempted to investigate how spins travel across the middle of these layers. It is believed that the research team’s findings are quite significant both to the understanding of spintronic devices, and to the eventual development of next generation data storage solutions and other novel devices and applications.

Utah researchers showed that information can be carried by spins in organic polymers.

University of Utah physicists successfully controlled an electrical current using the "spin" within electrons – a step toward building an organic "spin transistor": a plastic semiconductor switch for future ultrafast computers and electronics.

In the new study, the researchers showed that information can be carried by spins in an organic polymer, and that a spin transistor is possible because "we can convert the spin information into a current, and manipulate it and change it," says Lupton. "We are manipulating this information and reading it out again. We are writing it and reading it."

Boehme says spin transistors and other spin electronics could make possible much smaller computer chips, and computers that are orders of magnitude faster than today's.