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Spintronics: introduction and recent advances

Xavi Martí (Institute of Physics, Czech Academy of Sciences)

Seminar room QUTE

Spintronics intends to make use of the electron’s spin as well as the electron’s charge in order to store or process information. In some sense, spintronics is the way how “magnetism reserach” has been penetrating microelectronics realm in the past decades: initially playing the role of “sensors” and “memories” into finally addressing data processing. Three major facts has recently given Spintronics a peak in the research arena: the Nobel Prize in physics in 2007 (P. Grunberg and A. Fert), a massive commercial implementation in hard-drives and the claims that electronics are reaching its physical limits if only charge is used. I will review these facts and see how the call for new materials or construction of complex structures has given novel opportunities to materials characterization techniques. Due to my X-ray diffraction background, I will highlight the ones related on some of the relations of strain, magnetic properties and few others.
Finally, it is now becoming widely accepted that the spintronics research peak is already gone. I will share some of the transformation trends of spintronics research I have been observing recently while traveling and giving seminars.