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New Frontiers in Spintronics

Objective

The aim of this theory proposal is to develop the research field of spintronics in three new directions - i) antiferromagnetic metals, ii) helimagnets, and iii) ultracold quantum gases - unified by the fact that it is a priori clear that new concepts have to be developed in understanding their spintronics phenomena. The central scientific challenge is understanding transport of a nonconserved quantity, i.e., spin, and its nonconserved current, i.e., the spin current. The proposal capitalizes in part on the PI’s experience with both spintronics and cold atoms to cross-fertilize these sub-disciplines of condensed-matter physics. i) The first focus of the proposal, motivated by experimental follow-ups of the PI’s pioneering theory work, is to theoretically study current-driven magnetization dynamics in antiferromagnetic metals. These materials are very promising for applications in ultrahigh-density information storage technology. ii) The second focus is to study the influence of current on the magnetic state of a helimagnet. The dynamics of the magnetization spiral in a helimagnet can be viewed as motion of a series of domain walls. In addition to its intrinsic fundamental interest this study will therefore shed light on the ongoing issues in current-driven domain wall motion, such as intrinsic versus extrinsic pinning of domains, and the role of intrinsic spin-orbit coupling. iii) The third and last focus of the proposal is to study analogues of spintronics phenomena with cold atoms, exploiting the well-understood microscopic description of these systems to quantum engineer model systems for spintronics, as well as their possibilities to go beyond conventional electronic condensed-matter physics. In particular the prospect for spin currents to be carried by bosonic particles opens up new research directions. This study develops new trends in spin-dependent transport phenomena and current-induced order-parameter dynamics.

Field of science

  • /social sciences/social and economic geography/transport
  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/inorganic chemistry/metals
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/condensed matter physics/quantum gases
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/electromagnetism and electronics/spintronics

Call for proposal

ERC-2007-StG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-SG - ERC Starting Grant

Host institution

UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT
Address
Heidelberglaan 8
3584 CS Utrecht
Netherlands
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 876 000
Principal investigator
Rembertus Abraham Duine (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Pieter Thijssen (Mr.)

Beneficiaries (1)

UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 876 000
Address
Heidelberglaan 8
3584 CS Utrecht
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Rembertus Abraham Duine (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Pieter Thijssen (Mr.)