Researchers design a spin-engine that uses spintronics to harvest energy from heat at room temperatures

An international team of researchers from France and Sweden designed a new concept of an energy harvesting engine based on spintronics and quantum thermodynamics. The basic idea is to use electron spin to harvest thermal fluctuations at room temperature.

Spin-polarized energy landscape of the spin-engine photo

The researchers make use of the fact that paramagnetic centers, or atom-level magnets, fluctuate their spin orientation due to heat. In the so called spin-engine, the a spontaneous bias voltage V appears between the electrodes, and thus a spontaneous current flows once the electrical circuit is closed.

There are still many challenges to create such devices (the team made some initial experiments) - but the researchers say that this concept could create chips that continuously produce electrical power with a power density that is 3x greater than raw solar irradiation on Earth.

Researchers create spin transport channels on curved surfaces

Researchers from the University of Groningen created curved spin transport channels. The researchers discovered that this new geometry makes it possible to independently tune charge and spin currents.

Non-local spin-valve in a curved nano-cahnnel (SEM photo)

Most spintronics devices to date were made from flat surfaces, and this research focused on spin currents behaviors in curved channels. The scientists say that the new research enables the efficient integration of spin injectors and detectors or spin transistors into modern 3D circuitry.

Quantum Well structures can enhance the TMR of MTJs

Researchers from Japan's National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) have managed to introduce a quantum well structure into a conventional magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ). The researchers say that the QW structure can enhance the tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR) ratio by spin-dependent resonant tunnel (SDRT) effect, with a value of 1.5 times comparing with no SDRT case, at room temperature.

Quantum Well structure introduced to MTJs (NIMS)

The researchers tell us that the key point of the QW formation is the band mismatch between Cr and Fe for majority band, and the mismatch-free Fe/MgAl2O4 interface. The finding is not just useful for enhancement of TMR ratio, it also provides a benefit that the TMR ratio could be kept almost constant in a wide bias voltage range of from -1V to 0.5V.

Researchers create a graphene-based 2D spin transistor

Researchers from the University of Groningen developed a two-dimensional spin transistor, in which spin currents were generated by an electric current through graphene. The device also include a monolayer transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD) that is placed on the graphene to induce charge-to-spin conversion.

Scientists create fully electronic 2-dimensional spin transistors image

Graphene is an excellent spin transporter, but spin-orbit coupling is required to create or manipulate spins. The interaction is weak in the graphene carbon atoms, but now the researchers have shown that adding the TMD layer increases the spin-orbit coupling.

Researchers demonstrate the longest spin lifetime in a graphene sheet

Researchers from Spain's ICN2, in collaboration with Imec and K.U. Leuven have developed a modified graphene-based nanodevice fabrication technique that can increase the spin lifetime and relaxation length by up to three times.

ICN2 graphene device spin lifetime photo

The researchers used CVD-made graphene grown on a platinum foil. By optimizing several standard processes, the researchers managed to reduce the impurity level of the graphene.

Researchers discover an unseen mode of GMR in 2D materials

Researchers from two FLEET universities in Australia, RMIT and UNSW, collaborated in a theoretical–experimental project that discovered a previously unseen mode of giant magneto-resistance (GMR) in 2D Fe3GeTe2 (FGT). This surprising result suggests a different underlying physical mechanisms in vdW hetero-structures.

The research shows that vdW materials (2D material) could offer higher functionaly cmopared to traditional spintronic approaches.

Researchers use thin GaMnAs film to create an extremely efficient spintronics device

Researchers from the University of Tokyo have developed a spintronics device that can quickly and efficiently magnetize - which they say is between one and two orders of magnitude more power efficient than current spintronics device.

Magnetization reverse in GaMnAs (UTokyo)

The researchers used a ferromagnetic semiconductor material called gallium manganese arsenide (GaMnAs) - the magnetization of which can be fully reversed with the application of very small current densities.

Researchers developed a solid-state spin filtering device based on artificial molecular motors

Researchers RIKEN in collaboration with several other Universities, developed an organic solid-state spin filtering device. The device is based on a thin layer of artificial molecular motors.

Undirectional rotation of artificial molecular motors (RIKEN)

The researcher explain that the artificial molecular motors demonstrate four times chirality inversion by light irradiation and thermal treatments during the 360-degree molecular rotation. This means that the spin-polarization direction of electrons that pass through the molecular motors are switched by light irradiation or thermal treatments.

European researchers develop a new method to create 3D spintronics devices

Researchers from the University of Glasgow together with European partners developed a new method to transfer spin information between layers of spintronic materials - basically enabling the development of 3D magnetic structures.

3D magnetic interactions, the University of Glasgow image

This discovery is based on chiral spin interaction. The researchers were able to stablize these interactions within a magnetic layer and, for the first time, extend these types of interactions to other layers.

Optically-assisted MRAM could be a thousand time more efficient then current MRAM devices

Researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, in collaboration with researchers from Germany and the Netherlands have developed a new memory technology they call optically-assisted MRAM which is based on changing the spin state via THz pulses.

The researchers say that the new technique is extremely efficient (the power required to switch a "bit" will be a thousand times smaller compared to current MRAM devices) and fast.