WUN Spintronics Consortium
The WUN Spintronics Consortium consists of more than 30 partners including 9 WUN universities. The consortium brings together the expertise of the partners and carries out collaborative research with the aim of impacting significantly on science and society.
The broad aims of the project are:
To achieve major breakthroughs in the exciting but challenging area of spintronics which is playing an increasingly significant role in high density data storage, microelectronics, sensors, quantum computing and bio-medical applications among others. The multi-disciplinary nature of spintronics requires expertise in electronics, material science, physics and computer science. There are more than ten WUN universities with world leading research groups in spintronics and related areas.
Spintronics has the potential to be one of the most exciting and challenging areas in nanotechnology, important to both fundamental scientific research and industrial applications.
Within the context of spin-electronics, the electron spin, as well as the charge, is manipulated for the operation of information processing circuits, based on the fundamental fact that electrons have spin as well as charge. These spintronic-devices, combining the advantages of magnetic materials and semiconductors, are expected to be non-volatile, versatile, fast and capable of simultaneous data storage and processing, while at the same time consume less energy.
They play an increasingly significant role in high density data storage, microelectronics, sensors, quantum computing and bio-medical applications etc. The expected impact of spintronics on the microelectronics industry might be comparable to the development of the transistor radio 50 years ago.
However, the multi-disciplinary nature of spintronics requires a joint effort by institutions with expertise in electronics, material science, physics and computer science. This multi-disciplinary approach might be the key to achieving major breakthroughs in this exciting but challenging area.
The consortium carries out research in the following four key areas:
- Understanding fundamental physics such as the spin-dependant transport across the magnetic/semiconductor interface and spin coherence length in semiconductors
- Synthesising spintronic materials with Curie temperatures above room temperature, large spin polarisation at the Fermi level and matching conductivity between the magnetic and semiconductor materials
- Utilising Nanofabrication techniques - fabricating devices with nanometer feature sizes and developing new techniques for mass production
- Integrating spin-devices with microelectronics and quantum computation.