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Spin-charge conversion and spin caloritronics at hybrid organic-inorganic interfaces

Objective

Organic semiconductors are enabling flexible, large-area optoelectronic devices, such as organic light-emitting diodes, transistors, and solar cells. Due to their exceptionally long spin lifetimes, these carbon-based materials could also have an important impact on spintronics, where carrier spins, rather than charges, play a key role in transmitting, processing and storing information. However, to exploit this potential, a method for direct conversion of spin information into an electric signal is indispensable. Spin-charge conversion in inorganic semiconductors and metals has mainly relied on the spin-orbit interaction, a fundamental relativistic effect which couples the motion of electrons to their spins. The spin-orbit interaction causes a flow of spins, a spin current, to induce an electric field perpendicular to both the spin polarization and the flow direction of the spin current. This is called the inverse spin Hall effect (ISHE). We have very recently been able to observe for the first time the inverse spin-Hall effect in an organic conductor. This breakthrough raises important questions for our understanding of spin-charge conversion in materials with intrinsically weak spin-orbit coupling. It also expands dramatically the range of materials and structures available to address some currently not well understood scientific questions in spintronics and opens opportunities for realising novel spintronic devices for spin-based information processing and spin caloritronic energy harvesting that make use of unique properties of hybrid, organic-inorganic structures. The main objective of the proposed research is to take spintronics to a level that inorganic spintronics cannot reach on its own. The project is based on new theoretical and experimental methodologies arising at the interface between two currently disjoint scientific communities, organic semiconductors and inorganic spintronics, and aims to exploit synergies between chemistry, physics and theory.
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Lead Principal Investigator

Henning Sirringhaus (Prof.)

Host institution

THE CHANCELLOR MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE

Address

Trinity Lane The Old Schools
Cb2 1tn Cambridge

United Kingdom

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 4 216 073

Principal Investigator

Henning Sirringhaus (Prof.)

Administrative Contact

Liesbeth Krul (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (5)

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THE CHANCELLOR MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 4 216 073

HITACHI EUROPE LIMITED

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 930 566

FYZIKALNI USTAV AV CR V.V.I

Czechia

EU Contribution

€ 1 034 995

JOHANNES GUTENBERG-UNIVERSITAT MAINZ

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 1 317 502

IMPERIAL COLLEGE OF SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY AND MEDICINE

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 2 152 351

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 610115

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 August 2014

  • End date

    31 July 2020

Funded under:

FP7-IDEAS-ERC

  • Overall budget:

    € 9 651 487

  • EU contribution

    € 9 651 487

Hosted by:

THE CHANCELLOR MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE

United Kingdom