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Initial Training Network in Nanoscale Semiconductor Spintronics

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Network training on spintronics

Designing spin-based semiconductor devices can offer significant speed and power advantages over conventional electronics. An EU-supported network is helping young researchers acquire the skills to design and implement such systems.

Digital Economy

With scaling approaching its fundamental limits and the increasing demand for efficient power usage, novel technologies will be required for developing electronic devices. With backing from the EU Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), 'Initial training network in nanoscale semiconductor spintronics' (SEMISPINNET) aimed to equip young researchers and future science leaders with skills and know-how in semiconductor spintronics and nanospintronics. Through an initial training network, the project engaged early-stage researchers in a number of themes. This included nanospintronics fundamentals, low-dimensional magnetic system growth and properties, and material design and modelling for spin transport and spin-orbit phenomena. The ultimate aim was to develop semiconductor spintronics and nanospintronics prototype devices for room-temperature applications. The appointed researchers were based at the host institution of one of the network partners. There they undertook a research project related to one or more of the main SEMISPINNET themes and received training in complementary skills. A key aspect was that the young researchers spent time in partner laboratories, cooperating in research, developing new skills and experiencing new working environments. This enhanced researcher mobility and experience as well as improved connectivity between the research groups. The network collaborative research activities resulted in several key breakthroughs. Researchers demonstrated spintronic phenomena with potential technological relevance, such as electrically controlled magnetism, magnetic vortex dynamics and spin injection. Furthermore, new materials were designed, including topological crystalline insulators and antiferromagnetic semiconductors. SEMISPINNET produced three patent applications. Project results were disseminated through journals, conferences and workshops.

Keywords

Semiconductor spintronics, initial training network, nanospintronics, spin transport, prototype, magnetism, vortex dynamics, spin injection, insulators, antiferromagnetic

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