Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Finnish SPIN researchers at forefront of development: Spintronics can bring electronics down to size

18.03.2005


Researchers working on the room temperature spintronics (SPIN) research project are the first in Europe to successfully produce GaMnN layers, which are ferromagnetic at room temperature. The layer properties were examined using electric, optic, x-ray and positron measurements. The Academy-funded SPIN project is comprised of four participating entities, i.e. the Helsinki University of Technology (HUT) Departments of Electron Physics, Optoelectronics and Physics laboratories and the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Microelectronics research institute.



Headed by Dr Markku Sopanen, the SPIN project focuses on the research of manganese-doped gallium arsenide and gallium nitride. Gallium nitride is the most promising material for use in spintronics components which are operated at room temperature. The project also produced the first GaMnAs tunneling diode component, whose electrical properties are closely dependent on magnetic fields. High-speed tunneling diodes are used in, for example, microwave technologies.

Previously, ferromagnetic III-V semiconductors that functioned at room temperature were a completely unknown entity. Advances made in recent years have increased the ranks of ferromagnetic semiconductors with such compounds as GaMnAs clusters, InMnAs and GaMnN, whose Curie temperature is considerably higher than room temperature. Ferromagnetic III-V semiconductors are among the most interesting new material sectors in electronics and optoelectronics. These materials have a wide range of possible applications, in which the spin of electrons is used in electronic components. Examples include magnetic storage devices, magnetic field sensors, magnetically-controlled devices, spin transistors, polarisation-controlled optoelectronics devices and even quantum computing.


Magnetic semiconductors allow single components to perform multiple functions

Current spintronics (or magnetoelectronics) applications are based on magnetic metals. However, magnetic metals can only be used in applications based on memory, reader heads or magnetic sensors. Magnetic semiconductors, on the other hand, can be used in developing applications for these and other areas. Their key advantage is that multiple functions can be integrated in a single component, which can function simultaneously as a memory and amplifier.

Moreover, the advanced manufacturing techniques of semiconductors also allow spintronics components to be integrated in existing applications. Many magnetic phenomena are also more pronounced in magnetic semiconductors than in magnetic metals.

In state-of-the-art electronics data processing is based solely on the electron charge, whereas in spintronics it is based on both the electron charge and spin. The spins of electrons in the ferromagnetic material are put into the same direction using an externally-generated magnetic field, and the spins will continue in the same direction even after the magnetic field has been removed. The function of spintronics components is based on the fact that spins running in the same or opposite directions will alter the optical, electrical and magnetic properties of the component.

TULE conducts long-term, high-calibre basic research on electronics

The SPIN project is part of the Academy of Finland-funded Future Electronics (TULE) Research Programme, which is comprised of 18 research projects. The Programme is divided into following subject areas: circuits and systems; materials, optics and optoelectronics; and nanoelectronics.

The goal of the Programme is to conduct long-term, high-calibre basic research on electronics, which supports research and development in the Finnish electronics industry and can be used to innovate new applications. The Programme also aims to enhance scientific expertise and research environments in sectors vital to the current and future development of the Finnish electronics industry as well as to establish a qualified workforce required by growth in the field.

Terhi Loukiainen | alfa
Further information:
http://www.aka.fi

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht When helium behaves like a black hole
22.03.2017 | University of Vermont

nachricht Astronomers hazard a ride in a 'drifting carousel' to understand pulsating stars
22.03.2017 | International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Pulverizing electronic waste is green, clean -- and cold

22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers hazard a ride in a 'drifting carousel' to understand pulsating stars

22.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New gel-like coating beefs up the performance of lithium-sulfur batteries

22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>