SEM image of a magnetic nanocontact fabricated by the Nanocentre's E-beam lithography system
Spintronics exploits the electron spin, as well as the charge, in the operation of information processing circuits. Spintronic devices will combine the advantages of both magnetic materials and semiconductors and are expected to be non-volatile, versatile, fast and capable of simultaneous data storage and processing, while at the same time, consuming less energy. Consequently, spintronics has the potential to have a major impact on microelectronics, information storage, automotive sensors, communication, and future quantum computing. To fulfil this aim, spintronic materials and material combinations must be developed to achieve highly efficient spin injection, manipulation and detection.
York Spintronics encompasses fundamental physics, the synthesising and characterisation of new spintronic materials and the development of prototype spin-devices. The multidisciplinary team comprises 16 permanent members of staff across the three departments of Physics, Electronics and Chemistry providing complementary expertise and skills in:
The York-JEOL Nanocentre provides state of the art nanoscale materials characterisation facilities.
Theoretical modelling of magnetic materials and spin dynamics is the specialism of Professor Roy Chantrell and Dr Uli Nowak.
Dr Jing Wu works on the static and dynamic characterisation of magnetisation at nano/micro spatial resolution and has recently developed a picosecond high-field pump-probe MOKE spectrometer.
Professor Kevin O’Grady’s Magnetic Materials Research Group is the leading group in Europe in the study of magnetisation reversal in a wide range of materials. The group maintains an extensive suite of magnetic measurement equipment including the only state of the art (ADE Inc. Model 10) Vibrating Sample Magnetometer in the UK.
We have established an international reputation, with many invited talks given internationally over the last four years.
Dr Xu is leading the WUN (Worldwide University Network) Spintronics Grand Challenge Project, which includes partners from 10 research leading universities:
A York-Nanjing joint spintronics centre was launched at the end of 2007 - Nanjing leads China's efforts in spintronics research. York Spintronics also collaborate with leading IT companies including Seagate, Hewlett Packard and Toshiba.
York organised the 7th Oxford-Kobe Materials Seminar on Spintronics, in Kobe Japan, 2004, and the first WUN international conference on Spintronics, summer 2007 (WUN-SPIN07). WUN-SPIN07 attracted 25 world-leading experts as invited speakers and more than 150 contributed papers from all around the world.
Dr Xu and Dr Thompson have also edited the very first spintronics book "Spintronic Materials and Technology", published by Taylor and Francis, 2006.