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Josh Schaefferkoetter
February 27, 2007

 Conventional electronic devices

ignore the spin property and rely
strictly on the transport of the
electrical charge of electrons

 Adding the spin degree of

freedom provides new effects,
new capabilities and new

 Moore’s Law states that the number of transistors

on a silicon chip will roughly double every
eighteen months
 By 2008, it is projected that the width of the
electrodes in a microprocessor will be 45nm across
 As electronic devices become smaller, quantum
properties of the wavelike nature of electrons are
no longer negligible
 Spintronic devices offer the possibility of enhanced
functionality, higher speed, and reduced power

 Information is stored into spin as one of two

possible orientations
 Spin lifetime is relatively long, on the order of
 Spin currents can be manipulated

 Spin devices may combine logic and storage

functionality eliminating the need for separate
 Magnetic storage is nonvolatile

 Binary spin polarization offers the possibility of

applications as qubits in quantum computers

 1988 France, GMR discovery is

accepted as birth of spintronics
 A Giant MagnetoResistive device is
made of at least two ferromagnetic
layers separated by a spacer layer
 When the magnetization of the two
outside layers is aligned, lowest
 Conversely when magnetization
vectors are antiparallel, high R
 Small fields can produce big effects

 parallel and perpendicular current


 Current runs parallel between the ferromagnetic

 Most commonly used in magnetic read heads

 Has shown 200% resistance difference between

zero point and antiparallel states

 Simplest and most successful spintronic device

 Used in HDD to read information in the form of
small magnetic fields above the disk surface

 Easier to understand theoretically, think of one

FM layer as spin polarizer and other as detector
 Has shown 70% resistance difference between
zero point and antiparallel states
 Basis for Tunneling MagnetoResistance
 Tunnel Magnetoresistive effect combines the two
spin channels in the ferromagnetic materials and
the quantum tunnel effect
 TMR junctions have resistance ratio of about 70%

 MgO barrier junctions have produced 230% MR


 MRAM uses magnetic storage elements instead of

electric used in conventional RAM
 Tunnel junctions are used to read the information
stored in Magnetoresistive Random Access
Memory, typically a”0” for zero point
magnetization state and “1” for antiparallel state

 Attempts were made to control bit writing by

using relatively large currents to produce fields
 This proves unpractical at nanoscale level

 Current passed through a magnetic field becomes

spin polarized
 This flipping of magnetic spins applies a
relatively large torque to the magnetization
within the external magnet
 This torque will pump energy to the magnet
causing its magnetic moment to precess
 If damping force is too small, the current spin
momentum will transfer to the nanomagnet,
causing the magnetization will flip
 Unwanted effect in spin valves

 Possible applications in memory writing


 The spin transfer mechanism can be used to

write to the magnetic memory cells
 Currents are about the same as read currents,
requiring much less energy
 MRAM promises:
 Density of DRAM
 Speed of SRAM
 Non-volatility like flash

 Ideal use of MRAM would utilize control of the

spin channels of the current
 Spin transistors would allow control of the spin
current in the same manner that conventional
transistors can switch charge currents
 Using arrays of these spin transistors, MRAM will
combine storage, detection, logic and
communication capabilities on a single chip
 This will remove the distinction between working
memory and storage, combining functionality of
many devices into one

 The Datta Das Spin

Transistor was first spin
device proposed for metal-
oxide geometry, 1989
 Emitter and collector are
ferromagnetic with
parallel magnetizations
 The gate provides
magnetic field
 Current is modulated by
the degree of precession in
electron spin

 Materials like magnetite are magnetic semiconductors

 Development of materials similar to conventional

 Research aimed at dilute magnetic semiconductors

 Manganese is commonly doped onto substrate
 However previous manganese-doped GaAs has transition
temp at -88oC
 Curie temperatures above room must be produced

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Titanium Dioxide,” Science 291, 854 (2001).

45  M. L. Reed, N. A. El-Masry, H. H. Stadelmaier, M. E. Ritums, N. J. Reed, C. A. Parker, J. C. Roberts, and S. M. Bedair, “Room Temperature Ferromagnetic Properties of (Ga, Mn)N,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 79, 3473 (2001).

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47  S. B. Ogale, R. J. Choudhary, J. P. Buban, S. E. Lofland, S. R. Shinde, S. N. Kale, V. N. Kulkarni, J. Higgins, C. Lanci, J. R. Simpson, N. D. Browning, S. Das Sarma, H. D. Drew, R. L. Greene, and T. Venkatesan, “High
Temperature Ferromagnetism with a Giant Magnetic Moment in Transparent Co-Doped SnO2−δ,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 91, 077205 (2003).

 Y. G. Zhao, S. R. Shinde, S. B. Ogale, J. Higgins, R. Choudhary, V. N. Kulkarni, R. L. Greene, T. Venkatesan, S. E. Lofland, C. Lanci, J. P. Buban, N. D. Browning, S. Das Sarma, and A. J. Millis, “Co-Doped La0.5Sr0.5TiO3−δ:
Diluted Magnetic Oxide System with High Curie Temperature,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 83, 2199–2201 (2003).
49  H. Saito, V. Zayets, S. Yamagata, and K. Ando, “Room-Temperature Ferromagnetism in a II–VI Diluted Magnetic Semiconductor Zn1−xCrxTe,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 90, 207202 (2003).
50  P. Sharma, A. Gupta, K. V. Rao, F. J. Owens, R. Sharma, R. Ahuja, J. M. Osorio Guillen, B. Johansson, and G. A. Gehring, “Ferromagnetism Above Room Temperature in Bulk and Transparent Thin Films of Mn-Doped
ZnO,” Nature Mater. 2, 673 (2003).

51  J. Philip, N. Theodoropoulou, G. Berera, J. S. Moodera, and B. Satpati, “High-Temperature Ferromagnetism in Manganese-Doped Indium–Tin Oxide Films,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, 777 (2004).

52  H. X. Liu, S. Y. Wu, R. K. Singh, L. Gu, D. J. Smith, N. R. Dilley, L. Montes, M. B. Simmonds, and N. Newman, “Observation of Ferromagnetism at over 900 K in Cr-doped GaN and AlN,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, 4076 (2004).

53  S. Y. Wu, H. X. Liu, L. Gu, R. K. Singh, M. van Schilfgaarde, D. J. Smith, N. R. Dilley, L. Montes, M. B. Simmonds, and N. Newman, “Synthesis and Characterization of High Quality Ferromagnetic Cr-Doped GaN and AlN
Thin Films with Curie Temperatures Above 900 K” (2003 Fall Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings), Mater. Sci. Forum 798, B10.57.1 (2004).

 Weitering et al. have made numerous advances

 Ferromagnetic transition temperature in excess of 100
K in (Ga,Mn)As diluted magnetic semiconductors
 Spin injection from ferromagnetic to non-magnetic
semiconductors and long spin-coherence times in
 Ferromagnetism in Mn doped group IV
 Room temperature ferromagnetism in (Ga,Mn)N,
(Ga,Mn)P, and digital-doped (Ga,Mn)Sb.
 Large magnetoresistance in ferromagnetic
semiconductor tunnel junctions.

 Material science
 Many methods of
magnetic doping

 Spin transport in

Interest in spintronics arises, in part, from the looming

problem of exhausting the fundamental physical limits
of conventional electronics.
However, complete reconstruction of industry is unlikely
and spintronics is a “variation” of current technology
The spin of the electron has attracted renewed interest
because it promises a wide variety of new devices that
combine logic, storage and sensor applications.
Moreover, these "spintronic" devices might lead to
quantum computers and quantum communication
based on electronic solid-state devices, thus changing
the perspective of information technology in the 21st