Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Spintronics Discovery

10.05.2013
From powerful computers to super-sensitive medical and environmental detectors that are faster, smaller and use less energy — yes, we want them, but how do we get them?

In research that is helping to lay the groundwork for the electronics of the future, University of Delaware scientists have confirmed the presence of a magnetic field generated by electrons which scientists had theorized existed, but that had never been proven until now.

The finding, which is reported in the journal Nature Communications, expands the potential for harnessing the “spin” or magnetic properties of electrons — adding a fundamental new building block to the pioneering field of spintronics.

John Xiao, Unidel Professor of Physics and Astronomy at UD, is the lead author of the study. His co-authors include research associate Xin Fan, graduate students Jun Wu and Yunpeng Chen, and undergraduate student Matthew Jerry from UD, and Huaiwu Zhang from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China.

Today’s semiconductors, which are essential to the operation of a broad array of electronics, carry along the electrical charge of electrons, but make no use of the magnetic or “spin” properties of these subatomic particles. Xiao and his team are working to unveil those properties in UD’s Center for Spintronics and Biodetection.

As Xiao explains, in the presence of a magnet, an electron will take a “spin up” or “spin down” position, correlating to the binary states of 1 or 0 that computers use to encode and process data. One spin state aligns with the magnetic field, and one opposes it. A spintronics device requires an excess number of either spin-up or spin-down electrons. Controlling the direction of the magnetization is a major goal in the fledgling field.

For the past few years, scientists have succeeded in generating a pure spin current in which electrons with opposite spins move in opposite directions. This is achieved by passing an electrical current through a heavy metal that’s not magnetic, such as platinum, tungsten and tantalum.

However, in a double layer of heavy metal and ferromagnetic material (for example, iron or cobalt), this pure spin current will diffuse into the ferromagnetic material. When this occurs, Xiao and his team have detected a magnetic field, which can switch the material’s magnetization.

This magnetic field is confined inside the ferromagnetic material unlike the conventional magnetic field generated from a magnet, which is difficult to shield. Xiao says this finding is particularly important to high-density integrated circuits, such as magnetic random access memory, in which shielding the magnetic field between cells is “a nightmare.”

“This magnetic field was predicted previously but was never experimentally confirmed. We demonstrated that it’s there,” Xiao says. “We now have a new means of generating a magnetic field and controlling the direction of a nanomagnet, as well as a new measurement technique to characterize the magnetic field.”

Advancing this nanoscale research requires specialized laboratory equipment and facilities. In addition to the sophisticated magnetometers in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UD, Xiao and his team will have access to new, state-of-the-art facilities in the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory (ISE Lab), a 194,000-square-foot building set to open at UD this fall.

Among the core facilities in this major hub for teaching and research will be a 10,000-square-foot nanofabrication facility, which Xiao will co-direct. There, he will continue his research in the development of next-generation spintronic devices.

Funding for Xiao’s study was provided by the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.

Andrea Boyle Tippett | Newswise
Further information:
http://www.udel.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht When fluid flows almost as fast as light -- with quantum rotation
22.06.2018 | The Henryk Niewodniczanski Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences

nachricht Thermal Radiation from Tiny Particles
22.06.2018 | Universität Greifswald

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: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film

22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle

22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View

22.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>