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Spintronics (a neologism meaning "spin transport
electronics", also known as magnetoelectronics, is an emerging technology that exploits the intrinsic spin of the electron and its associated magnetic moment, in addition to its fundamental electronic charge, in solid-state devices. They rely completely on magnetic moment of the electron. Electrons are spin-1/2 fermions and therefore constitute a two-state system with spin "up" and spin "down". Electrons have a property that they occupy only one quantum state at a given time. To make a spintronic device, the primary requirements are a system that can generate a current of spin-polarized electrons comprising more of one spin species³up or down³than the other (called a spin injector), Spin process can be accomplished using real external magnetic fields or effective fields caused by spin-orbit interaction.
Dept of EEE
S.S.M Polytechnic, Tirur
Spintronics does not require unique and specialized semiconductors. Dept of EEE 2 S. spintronic RAM chips will: o o Increase storage densities by a factor of three. Tirur .Seminar Report 2011 Spintronics Advantages of spintronics y y y y Non-volatile memory. Performance improves with smaller devices. Interfernce of fields with nearest elements. Control of spin in silicon is diffic. Difficult to Inject and Measure spin. y y Dissipation less transmission.M Polytechnic.S. Switching time is very less compared to normal RAM chips. Limitations y y y y Controlling spin for long distances. Have faster switching and rewritability rates smaller. Low power consumption.
M Polytechnic. and initial experiments on magnetic tunnel junctions by Julliere in the 1970s. Tirur . Dept of EEE 3 S.Seminar Report 2011 Spintronics Historical Perspective The research field of spintronics emerged from experiments on spin-dependent electron transport phenomena in solid-state devices done in the 1980s. The origins can be traced back further to the ferromagnet /superconductor tunneling experiments pioneered by Meservey and Tedrow. including the observation of spin-polarized electron injection from a ferromagnetic metal to a normal metal by Johnson and Silsbee (1985). and the discovery of giant magnetoresistance independently by Albert Fert and Peter Grünberg. The use of semiconductors for spintronics can be traced back at least as far as the theoretical proposal of a spin field-effect-transistor by Datta and Das in 1990.S.
Manipulation of the electron spin during transport between injector and detector (especially in semiconductors) via spin precession can be accomplished using real external magnetic fields or effective fields caused by spin-orbit interaction. In the latter case. or by non-equilibrium methods. Spin lifetimes of conduction electrons in metals are relatively short (typically less than 1 nanosecond) but in semiconductors the lifetimes can be very long (microseconds at low temperatures).S. and a separate system that is sensitive to the spin polarization of the electrons (spin detector). Spin polarization in non-magnetic materials can be achieved either through the Zeeman Effect in large magnetic fields and low temperatures. especially when the electrons are isolated in local Dept of EEE 4 S.M Polytechnic. the primary requirements are a system that can generate a current of spin-polarized electrons comprising more of one spin species³up or down³than the other (called a spin injector).Seminar Report 2011 Spintronics Working Electrons are spin-1/2 fermions and therefore constitute a two-state system with spin "up" and spin "down". To make a spintronic device. Tirur . the non-equilibrium polarization will decay over a timescale called the "spin lifetime".
being attached to mobile electrons. Tirur . where lifetimes can be milliseconds). carry the information along a wire. (2) The spins. Dept of EEE 5 S. and (3) The information is read at a terminal.Seminar Report 2011 Spintronics trapping potentials (for instance.S.M Polytechnic. at impurities. All spintronic devices act according to the simple scheme: (1) Information is stored (written) into spins as a particular spin orientation (up or down).
where the electric current flows parallel to the layers and y current-perpendicular-to-plane (CPP).Seminar Report 2011 Spintronics Giant Magnetoresistance (GMR) The simplest method of generating a spin-polarised current in a metal is to pass the current through a ferromagnetic material. The most common application of this effect is a giant magnetoresistance (GMR) device. Two variants of GMR have been applied in devices: y current-in-plane (CIP). the electrical resistance will be lower (so a higher current flows at constant voltage) than if the ferromagnetic layers are anti-aligned. This constitutes a magnetic field sensor. where the electric current flows in a direction perpendicular to the layers. Tirur . Other metals-based spintronics devices: Dept of EEE 6 S.S. When the two magnetization vectors of the ferromagnetic layers are aligned.M Polytechnic. A typical GMR device consists of at least two layers of ferromagnetic materials separated by a spacer layer.
This proves unpractical at nanoscale level. The spin transfer mechanism can be used to write to the magnetic memory cells. Dept of EEE 7 S. Tunnel junctions are used to read the information stored in MRAM. requiring much less energy.S. Tirur . where a current of spin-polarized electrons is used to control the magnetization direction of ferromagnetic electrodes in the device.M Polytechnic.Seminar Report 2011 Spintronics y Tunnel Magnetoresistance (TMR). y Spin Torque Transfer. where CPP transport is achieved by using quantum-mechanical tunneling of electrons through a thin insulator separating ferromagnetic layers. Currents are about the same as read currents. Attempts were made to control bit writing by using relatively large currents to produce fields. MRAM MRAM uses magnetic storage elements.
detection. 1989. MRAM will combine storage. This will remove the distinction between working memory and storage. Using arrays of these spin transistors. Current is modulated by the degree of precession in electron spin.M Polytechnic.S. Emitter and collector are ferromagnetic with parallel magnetizations. Dept of EEE 8 S.Seminar Report 2011 Spintronics MRAM Promises: y y y Density of DRAM Speed of SRAM Non-volatility like flash Spin Transistor 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. logic and communication capabilities on a single chip. The gate provides magnetic field. The Datta Das Spin Transistor was first spin device proposed for metal-oxide geometry. Tirur . combining functionality of many devices into one Datta Das Spin Transistor.
Room temperature ferromagnetism. Ferromagnetism in Mn doped group IV semiconductors. the future Plastic data storage. Tirur .Seminar Report 2011 Spintronics Current Research Ferromagnetic transition temperature in excess of 100 K Spin injection from ferromagnetic to non-magnetic semiconductors and long spin-coherence times in semiconductors. Large magnetoresistance in ferromagnetic semiconductor tunnel junctions. Magnetic RAM chips Spin FET using quantum tunneling Quantum computers Dept of EEE 9 S.S.M Polytechnic. Future Outlook y y y y High capacity hard drives.
and Spin Torque Transfer (STT) on which Crocus. encodes information in the direction of magnetization between domain walls of a ferromagnetic metal wire. Motorola's spin-off. Tirur . and several other companies are working. There are two 2nd generation MRAM techniques currently in development: Thermal Assisted Switching (TAS) which is being developed by Crocus Technology.M Polytechnic. IBM.Seminar Report 2011 Spintronics Applications Motorola has developed a 1st generation 256 kb MRAM based on a single magnetic tunnel junction and a single transistor and which has a read/write cycle of under 50 nanoseconds (Ever spin. Dept of EEE 10 S. Another design in development. Hynix. called Racetrack memory. has since developed a 4 Mbit version.S.
which has been met with the following techniques: y y y Faraday/Kerr rotation of transmitted/reflected photons Circular polarization analysis of electroluminescence Nonlocal spin valve (adapted from Johnson and Silsbee's work with metals) y Ballistic spin filtering The latter technique was used to overcome the lack of spin- orbit interaction and materials issues to achieve spin transport in silicon. increase the interface resistance with a tunnel barrier. Because external magnetic fields (and stray fields from magnetic contacts) can cause large Hall effects and magnetoresistance in semiconductors (which mimic spin-valve effects). the only conclusive evidence of spin transport in semiconductors is demonstration of spin precession and Dept of EEE 11 S. Spin detection in semiconductors is another challenge.Seminar Report 2011 Spintronics Semiconductor-based spintronic devices Ferromagnetic semiconductor sources (like manganesedoped gallium arsenide GaMnAs). the most important semiconductor for electronics. Tirur .S.M Polytechnic. or using hot-electron injection.
This is called the Hanle effect.S. Dept of EEE 12 S.M Polytechnic. Tirur .Seminar Report 2011 Spintronics dephasing in a magnetic field non-collinear to the injected spin orientation.
M Polytechnic.S. Tirur . which has been met with the following techniques: y y Faraday/Kerr rotation of transmitted/reflected photons. Circular polarization analysis of electroluminescence.Seminar Report 2011 Spintronics Spin Detection Spin detection in semiconductors is another challenge. Dept of EEE 13 S.
y To maximize the time period for spin current to retain its polarization in a semiconductor.Seminar Report 2011 Spintronics Depicting Spin Of Electrons Concerns y To devise economic ways to combine ferromagnetic metals and semiconductors in integrated circuits. into a semiconductor.M Polytechnic. Tirur . To make semiconductors that are ferromagnetic at room temperature and don·t lose their property even at high temperature y To minimize spin currents at boundaries between different semiconductors so as to minimize the loss.S. Dept of EEE 14 S. y To find an efficient way to inject spin-polarized currents. or spin currents.
and several other companies are working. Future applications may include a spin-based transistor having advantages over MOSFET devices such as steeper sub-threshold slope. There are two 2nd generation MRAM techniques currently in development: y Thermal Assisted Switching (TAS) which is being developed by Crocus Technology. Motorola has developed a 1st generation 256 kb MRAM based on a single magnetic tunnel junction and a single transistor and which has a read/write cycle of under 50 nanoseconds. IBM. and y Spin Torque Transfer (STT) on which Crocus.M Polytechnic. Dept of EEE 15 S. Tirur . Hynix. Semiconductor lasers using spin-polarized electrical injection have shown threshold current reduction and controllable circularly polarized coherent light output.S.Seminar Report 2011 Spintronics Applications Applications such as semiconductor lasers using spinpolarized electrical injection have shown threshold current reduction and controllable circularly polarized coherent light output.
This spintronic scanning technique is an efficient technique used in the medical field to detectcancer cells. when combined with an on-chip GMR magnetic sensor separated by an insulating layer. Like the sensor. The resulting magnetic field flips the spin of electrons in the GMR resistors. A current in this coil. changing their resistance. which has to be removed by surgery. These cells when matured results in formation of tumor. After surgery there may Dept of EEE 16 S. Tirur .M Polytechnic.Seminar Report 2011 Spintronics Spintronic Couplers Using the same sputtering technology. There are two spins (UP spin and DOWN Spin). four GMR resistors form a Wheatstone bridge (see Figure 7). A magnetic shield protects the sensor from external fields.S. these components can be combined with other semiconductor functions to produce a very high-speed digital isolator. In a spintronic coupler. A magnetic field proportional to the input current signal is generated beneath the coil winding. A thin polymer dielectric barrier layer provides several thousand volts of isolation from the input coil. Cancer cells are easy to be identified only when they are large in number. can couple a signal across the insulator achieving galvanic isolation. it is possible to build a thin film on-chip coil.
Thus this technique efficiently identifies the presence of cancer cells in that part of the body that has undergone surgery to prevent any further development Dept of EEE 17 S. which would result in growth of tumor in effected part of the body.M Polytechnic. If not. A Patient is exposed to a strong magnetic field so that his body cell gets magnetized.Seminar Report 2011 Spintronics be presence of even a single cancer cell. it indicates the presence of traces of cancer cells and it has to be treated again for ensuring complete safety to the patient. Tirur .S. The difference in spin of electrons when introduced to normal area and abnormal area indicates whether cancer cells have been removed from the body. A beam of electrons with polarized spin is introduced on the uneffected part of the body and the change in spin is detected by a polarimeter. A beam of electrons with polarized spin is introduced on the part which had undergone surgery. The spintronic scanning is an efficient technique to detect cancer cells even when they are less in number.
Seminar Report 2011 Spintronics Conclusion Spintronics is a technology with a fast track from the discovery of GMR and MTJ materials to the incorporation of these materials in commercial devices. MRAM devices are on the horizon and offer the promise of laptop computers that do not need to boot up and cell phones with increased battery time and increased capabilities. Dept of EEE 18 S.S. small size. Digital data couplers and displacing opto isolators in many applications and are making inroads into new markets heretofore unavailable. high sensitivity.M Polytechnic. and low power are required. Magnetic sensors based on spintronics are making inroads in markets where some combination of high resolution. Spintronics read heads dominate the hard-disk market. Tirur .
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