CORDIS - EU research results

Nano-engineered magnetic materials for spintronics and magnetologic applications


The performance of today's microelectronics is increased by continuous miniaturization, however, the fundamental limits will soon be reached. An alternative approach to increase the computational power is to take advantage not only of the charge of the el ectron but of the spin as well. This field is nowadays known as 'Spintronics'. Recently it was demonstrated that the non-volatile magnetic random access memory (MRAM) can in principle serve as reconfigurable magnetologic gate. To employ these MRAM elements for logic operations, materials-related challenges remain to be solved. The goal of this project is to synthesize new heterogeneous materials by functional doping of oxide semiconductors to engineer ferromagnetic electrodes and tunnel barriers from only one type of material. Further, monodisperse ferromagnetic nanoparticles shall be incorporated in oxide semiconductors as well forming a magnetically doped oxide-semiconductor where the size and distribution of the magnetic particles is more controllable co mpared to clustering in highly doped semiconductors. Such granular magnetic semiconductors (GMS) will enable to study the magnetic interaction of magnetic impurities through the semiconductor host under well-defined conditions. These two types of nano-engi neered materials shall be integrated into all-oxide spin-valve structures as a building block for novel reconfigurable magnetologic devices with nanoscale dimensions. Prototypes of such devices, which are expected to offer dramatically increased functional ity compared to transistor logic, shall be fabricated and tested.

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