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Spintronics: How an atom-thin insulator helps transport spins

An intermediate layer consisting of a few atoms helps to improve the transport of spin currents from one material to another. Until now, this process involves significant losses.

News from May 10, 2022

A team from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Microstructure Physics, and the Freie Universität Berlin (FU) reports in the scientific journal "Nano Letters" of the American Chemical Society (ACS) on how this can be avoided. The researchers thus demonstrate important new insights relevant for many spintronic applications, for example energy-efficient and ultra-fast storage technologies of the future.

The team looked for a way to mitigate these losses by using an approach that, at first, sounds rather contradictory: they integrated an insulating barrier between the two materials. They designed the insulator at the atomic level so that it turned metallic and could conduct the spin currents. This enabled them to significantly improve the spin transport and optimise the interfacial properties.

Among others, the study was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) through the Collaborative Research Center CRC/TRR 227.

M. A. Wahada, E. Şaşıoğlu, W. Hoppe, X. Zhou, H. Deniz, R. Rouzegar, T. Kampfrath, I. Mertig, S. S. P. Parkin, and G. Woltersdorf: Atomic scale control of spin current transmission at interfaces - Nano Lett. 22, 3539 (2022) - DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.1c04358


Prof. Georg Woltersdorf: georg.woltersdorf@physik.uni-halle.de, +49 345 552-5300

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