Session 4 - Spintronics

Charles Gould

Dsicussion on Spintronics led by Tomas Swahn
Presenter: Charles Gould,
University of Würzburg
Dsicussion on Spintronics
led by Tomas Swahn, Chalmers University

Download of the presentation on Spintronics

CHARLES GOULD, University of Würzburg

Dr. Charles Gould completed his PhD in mesoscopic transport physics in a co-operative program between Sherbrooke University and the National Research Council of Canada (CNRC) in 2000. Since September 2000, he has been working as a post-doc/scientific assistant in the group of Prof. Molenkamp, and currently leads the semiconductor spintronics effort in the group.


Spintronics, including magnetoelectronics, describes electronics where not only the charge, but also the spin degree of freedom of the electrons plays a crucial role in device functionality. The field was launched by the discovery of GMR in 1989, and within one short decade was already a dominant commercial force in the field of information storage, a position it continues to hold today.

While the use of Spintronics for information storage is a relatively mature idea, several other aspects where Spintronics and its off shoots (including spin-caloritronics and spin-topotronics) promise tremendous potential, but are still in their infancy.

In this presentation, I will not discuss the well-established aspects of Spintronics, but rather look forward to areas where technological advance of the next decade may come.

More specifically, I will discuss the possibility of using of classical Spintronics in aspects of information processing beyond storage: i.e. processing and communication. On the former, Spintronics offers paths toward integrated logic-memory devices which are very much in the spirit of the long sought memristor, and would address issues such as power dissipation in the interconnects. As an example of the latter, spin torque oscillators, a close relative of GMR devices, offer great potential as radiating antenna for GHz communication.

Moving on from classical spintronics, I will also discuss two fields in their infancy. Spin-caloritronics is the study of Spintronics extended to include thermal as well as electrical potentials. Here, a main aim is to increase efficiency by harnessing the heat generated by devices into driving potential for other devices. Spin-topotronics is the idea of using spin polarized, topologically protected states to carry currents.