We propose to launch an exhaustive investigation of hybrid Nan structures incorporating super conducting (S) and ferromagnetic (F) metal components. We will investigate experimentally and theoretically fundamental quantum electronic and magnetic phenomena occurring in superconductor and ferromagnetic-based hybrids, dynamic and kinetic transport effects, the processes of spin filtering and spin injection, and the possibility of coherent manipulation of an individual electron spin. In the course of this work, we shall master the metal-ferromagnetic interface technology, and develop techniques for manufacturing micron and sub micron-size circuits. The exciting new feature of S-F hybrid structures consists of the competition between ferromagnetism and superconductivity, representing two antitheses in condensed matter physics, which is of abiding interest in fundamental and applied materials science and occurs naturally only in few exotic materials. Now we aim to produce it artificially in structured-structured composite materials, such as S-films with embedded magnetic clusters-clusters, in S-F-S and F-S-F multi-layers, and in sub-micron size hybrid circuits. The mutual proximity between superconductivity and ferromagnetism, possible as these are brought together within a nanometre scale, will create new quality with not yet known quantum ground state and kinetic properties. In the long term, new emergent quantum and macroscopic phenomena will be found that are not observed in bulk materials, only in such artificial structures. Understanding of the physics involved will be combined with the search for novel guiding principles for the next generation magnetic memory and, in the long term, enhancing the material and device functionalities via combining the specific properties of ferromagnetism and superconductors.
- FP6-NMP - Nanotechnologies and nanosciences, knowledge-based multifunctional materials and new production processes and devices: thematic priority 3 under the 'Focusing and integrating community research' of the 'Integrating and strengthening the European Research Area' specific programme 2002-2006.
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Funding SchemeSTREP - Specific Targeted Research Project