C-SPIN researchers discuss topological insulators

The University of Minnesota (UMN) published yet another video, interviewing several researchers at the Center for Spintronic Materials, Interfaces, and Novel Architectures (C-SPIN). The topic this time is topological insulators - priming new class of materials.

Topological insulators are materials in which the edges are conductive but the rest of the material acts like an insulator).

Proximity-induced magnetism promising for room-temperature spintronics

Researchers from MIT and colleagues from the US, Germany France and India discovered that when you combine a topological insulator (bismuth selenide) with a magnetic material (europium sulfide) you create a material that one can can control its magnetic properties. The new material retains the electronic property of the topological insulator and also the full magnetization capabilities of the magnetic material.

Ferromagnetic insulator and topological insulator (MIT)

The researchers were surprised by the stability of that effect - in fact the material exhibited those great properties at room temperatures, which means that this hybrid material can be used to create spintronics devices.

Researchers demonstrate that topological insulators are suitable for Spintronics applications

Researchers from the Helmholtz-Zentrum demonstrated that topological insulators are suitable for Spintronics applications. The researchers showed how the spins of the electrons in topological insulators can be controlled.

Characteristic spin orientation of electrons in a topological insulator

The researchers used circularly-polarized laser to investigate samples of antimony-telluride, a topological insulator. Using the rotational direction of the laser, it is possible to initiate and direct spin-polarised current. The researchers also succeeded to change the orientation of the spins.

A new topological insulator may enable fast spintronics devices

Researchers from the University of Utah developed a new topological insulator made from bismuth metal deposited on silicon. This material may be very suitable for quantum computers and fast spintronic devices.

This new material has the largest energy gap ever predicted. It can also be used alongside silicon so this material may be relatively easy to be used alongside current semiconductor technology.

Spintronics researcher wins prestigious Leibniz award

Professor Laurens Molenkamp from the University of Würzburg has been awarded a Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize from the German Research Foundation (DFG). This prestigious award comes with a €2.5 million (almost $3.5 million).

Laurens Molenkamp is regarded as one of the fathers of semiconductor spintronics. He was also the first researchers to succeed in the experimental realization of topological insulators.

A new dilute magnetic semiconductor is a promising spintronics material

Researcher from North Carolina State University developed a new material, strontium tin oxide (Sr3SnO) that is a dilute magnetic semiconductors and can be integrated into silicon chips. This means it may be useful for room-temperature Spintronics devices.

The researchers created this material as an epitaxial (single crystal) thin film on a silicon chip. They actually wanted to test whether it is a topological insulator, but surprisingly found out that it has magnetic semiconductor.

SRC and DARPA grant $28 million to open a new Spintronics research center

The Semiconductor Research Corporation, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded a $28 million five-year grant to open the Center for Spintronic Materials, Interfaces, and Novel Architectures, or C-SPIN. This is a multi-university and industry research center that aims to develop technologies for spin-based computing and memory systems. C-SPIN's research areas include perpendicular magnetic materials, spin channel materials (including topological insulators, monolayer MoS2 and graphene), spintronic interface engineering, spin devices and interconnects and spintronic circuits and architectures.

University partners include the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, MIT, Johns Hopkins University and the University of California, Riverside. Industry partners include IBM, Applied materials, Intel, Texas Instruments and Micron.

A new class of topological insulators discovered, may have spintronics applications

Researchers have discovered a new wide class of topological insulators (materials that are insulators in the bulk but conductors at the surface) that have very promising properties. These new TIs may enable tuning both electronic and spin (that is, magnetic) properties by using different compounds and confirms the possibility to grow topological insulators with deep-laying, self-protecting and, thus, technologically relevant conducting states. This may have applications in spintronics and quantum computation.

Electron spin-splitting (Rashba effect) shown in Bismuth selenide

Electron spin-splitting effect (Rashba effect) was demonstrated in a semiconductor (Bismuth selenide) that is far larger than has ever been seen before. This could lead the way towards room-temperature spintronic devices. The Rashba effect is the phenomenon of spin splitting with an applied electric field instead of a magnetic field.

The Rashba effect is crucial for spintronic devices: for example when designing spin transistors, electrons of a single spin are injected and then – under an applied electric field – have their spins rotated. Rashba effect in well-established semiconductors (silicon or gallium arsenide for example) is very small - and so electrons have to travel large distances before any spin rotation is noticeable. This requires very pure materials and very low temperatures.