The field of spintronics and its applications in nanoelectronics is continuously revolutionized by new discoveries and its implementation in novel devices, all related to new ways to manipulate or control spins. Most of these spin concepts are targeted to new and efficient ways of manipulating magnetization in confined magnetic objects, beyond the traditional use of magnetic fields.
A number of crucial breakthroughs have been reported, such as the concept of spin-transfer-torque, which is the possibility to change magnetization via a spin current, voltage control of magnetism and magnetic anisotropy for controlling magnetization by interfacial charging, creating spin currents by the Spin-Hall effect in nonmagnetic materials in contact with magnetized objects, and so-called Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interactions favoring novel chiral spin states.
Understanding and application
In our research group, all these new developments are studied with an emphasis in the understanding and exploitation of these effects for perpendicularly magnetized films, most of them related to the underlying spin-orbit coupling. The physics involved is addressed by creating and controlling domain-walls, by searching for chiral spin states such as skyrmions, and by alternative schemes for magnetization switching and domain-wall manipulation. Our contribution to the physics understanding of these phenomena may have direct impact on the application prospects in future memory, logic and sensing devices such as MRAM and racetrack solutions. In all these novel spin concepts, energy-efficiency, non-volatility, and scaling properties are intrinsic opportunities for industrial implementation.