Project Name

Magnetoelectronics and Spintronics
&
SpinAps (IBM-Stanford Spintronic Science and Applications Center)


Spintronics Devices Research

Racetrack Memory, Spin Injectors, Magnetic Tunnel Transistors, and a host of more exotic spintronic designs take us beyond the realm of the simple GMR spinvalve.


Magnetic Racetrack Memory Project

Today digital data is stored in two main types of devices, magnetic hard disk drives, and solid state random access memories. The former stores data very cheaply but, since it relies on the mechanical rotation of a disk, is slow and somewhat unreliable. The latter allows rapid access to data but the cost is about 100 times higher per bit than a magnetic disk drive.

animated artists conception of a racetrack memory cell in operationAt Almaden we are working on a radically new storage-memory technology based on recently discovered spintronic phenomena. One of these is a means of using spin currents to directly manipulate the magnetic state of nano-scale magnetic regions – magnetic domain walls – within magnetic nano-wires. This device, the magnetic race-track, is a powerful storage-class memory which promises a solid state memory with the cost and storage capacities rivaling that of magnetic disk drives but with much improved performance and reliability. This could provide another revolution in our ability to access and manipulate digital information.