Superconductivity, Spintronics and Surface Science Center

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Excellence research field rewarded in 2007 by a Nobel Prize in Physics (A. Fert and P. Grunberg), the Spintronics deals with the manipulation of the electron spin in electronic devices. In spintronics one exploits and skillfully engineers quantum mechanics properties of low dimensional systems. They are usually constituted by complex multilayer stacks composed by metallic magnetic, nonmagnetic and insulating thin films. The spin manipulation is based on the interplay between the electronic transport of the electron charge with the magnetism of the layers. The magnetic properties may be skillfully engineered  via the shape and the lateral size of the spintronic device within the mezoscopic regime where sizes became comparable with characteristic lengths of magnetism in constituent materials.

The Spintronics in C4S is developed along the following milestones:

- Elaboration and study of new materials, simple and complex magnetic and nonmagnetic film systems that will constitute the basis of the spintronic devices when structured at microscopic and nanoscopic scale. We currently elaborate and study full Heusler alloys, ferromagnetic metals and alloys, perovskites, diluted magnetic oxides, alternative oxides for tunnel junctions.

- The design and the patterning of individual spintronic devices for applications in the field of sensors and logic elements. Devices will be designed in geometries where the electronic transport takes place either, diffusively, in the plane of the thin films (current in plane CIP), or, coherently, perpendicular to the thin film (current perpendicular to plane CPP). The transport geometry presents a particular importance, this parameter determining the complexity of the thin films patterning processes towards spintronic devices.

-Study and optimization of the electric transport properties and magnetoresistive effects in spintronic devices in order to optimize their functional properties. Following the extreme miniaturization track: the control of the structural, magnetic, magnetoelectric properties of spintronic devices whose dimensions become comparable with characteristic physical dimensions of materials (example: spin coherence length, wall and magnetic domain thickness, etc.).

- Fundamental physics related to spin and charge transport in low dimensional systems.

- Theoretical modeling of magnetism and electronic transport, correlation with electronic properties modeling by ab-initio techniques (FP-LAPW, Wien2k).

- Superconducting Spintronics: modulation of superconductibility by injection/manipulation of spin currents in multilayer stacks involving magnetic, insulating and superconducting thin films. Novel ‘edge’ research axis beween Spintronics and Superconductivity.

Research and developement of mezoscopic  spintronic devices
CIP transport geometry CPP transport geometry  
Mezoscopic magnetism at C4S/TUCN

Nanomagnetism and spintronics