Science and Engineering

Colorado State University

Kristen Buchanan, Mario Marconi, Carmen Menoni, Jorge Rocca
Fort Collins, CO
June 2018


Today’s electronic devices still rely primarily on electrical charges to transmit signals.  As device sizes continue to shrink further into the nanoscale we are approaching the limits of what can be done using conventional approaches.  The spin of an electron offers a potential way past this scientific and design barrier.  Spin can be exploited simply by using it as an additional degree of freedom in a flowing electrical current.  But, even more revolutionary ideas are possible if we broaden the idea of spin transmission to include the transmission of signals using waves in a magnetic material that are known as spin waves or magnons.  Spin waves can travel through metals and insulators, and because there are many different ways to manipulate spin waves – local magnetic fields, spin orbit torques, anisotropies, spin textures, exchange bias, heat, and more – truly new paradigms for information transmission and processing are possible.  Magnon-based devices can also provide information transfer with no Joule heating and hence will enable breakthroughs in energy-efficiency.  To achieve this potential, new experiments are needed to test and refine ideas at nanometer length scales.  The Colorado State University team will investigate vital scientific questions surrounding the generation and channeling of spin waves at nanoscale wavelengths, and they will construct novel imaging instrumentation using a soft X-ray laser.  If successful, these advances will create a new paradigm for computing at the nanoscale and take the field of magnetics research in a promising new direction.

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