Spintronic Devices for Integrated Logic Circuits

Lead Research Organisation: University of York
Department Name: Physics

Abstract

In this proposal, we aim to develop four key spintronic devices in collaboration with Tohoku University in Japan and Technical University of Kaiserslautern in Germany as counterparts in a Core-to-Core Programme organised by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. We intend to investigate a spin transistor with an optical gate, an all Heusler alloy MRAM cell, spin-transfer torque induced by the spin See-beck effect and design a prototype logic circuit. Based on our ex-pertise, we anticipate to achieve three major milestones for next-generation integrated logic circuits: (i) instant power-on, (ii) low power consumption and (iii) less Joule heating. Each of these device concepts has the potential to be a component of an integrated spintronic logic and storage device. In addition to the technical activities this project will support an ambitious programme of exchange through the JSPS Core-to-Core Programme. We are committed to 9 exchanges per year giving a total of 45 exchanges to Germany but principally Japan over the 5 year period. This will be the largest programme of exchange in the field of magnetism ever undertaken from the UK.

Planned Impact

The work in this project consists of 3 linked topics each of which has the potential to make significant economic impact if successful. The projects on MRAM elements and the spin transistor are more fundamental aspects of research but each is focussed on the necessary development of highly advanced materials for spintronic devices to become a reality. Hence it is research of a fundamental underpinning nature for applications. If those projects are successful the economic impact on a 5 to 10 year timescale could be significant via royalties and further industrial collaboration. Not included in this proposal but under separate arrangements a project related to a Heusler alloy read head has been funded by Seagate Technology N. Ireland as a PhD CASE Award.
The project on MRAM elements is fundamental underpinning science. However technological development is just beginning in the industrial sector. The announcement by Intel of their intention to commercialise STT-MRAM in the next three years means that there is an enormous effort in industry and academia in MRAM technology. If improved spin polarisation could be achieved using Heusler alloys, a step change in SNR in devices would result. This technology is probably five years from implementation but this project could be an important stepping stone towards commercialisation.
Given the state of the science and technology of spintronics direct and immediate commercial impact of the proposed projects is not expected. However the underpinning of the nature of the science which we wish to undertake is of clear importance as the basic research begins to evolve into device applications. Our connections to Seagate Technology, Seagate Media Research, Toshiba and Hitachi Cambridge places us in a strong position and gives us insights into research areas which are of importance for future technologies.
The invitation from JSPS to apply for this Core-to-Core project will also make this project have a very high impact in both academic and industrial fields. It is the policy of JSPS only to stimulate these projects on a "best with best" basis. Their selection of our group for this invitation is therefore highly prestigious for the UK community as a whole. We already have strong links to Tohoku University with Prof Hirohata holding a Visiting Professorship in that university and the long established connections to Prof O'Grady mean that the collaboration is already established. The University of York has a formal cooperation agreement with Tohoku University and a number of exchanges have taken place both under our previous EPSRC/JST grant in collaboration with Prof Ohno and also via other funding such as JSPS Fellowships. It is this close link to Tohoku that has led to the highly successful York-Tohoku Symposia on Magnetism and Spintronics the last two of which have attracted over 100 participants.
Prof O'Grady has long collaborated with Prof Hillebrands of Kaiserslautern University. They were the principals in an EU Training Network known as NEXBIAS some years ago but have worked together continuously through the IEEE Magnetics Society and the Editorial Board of J.Phys.D. A collaboration with Prof Hillebrands and via him to the rest of the spintronics community in Germany will make a significant impact on the UK community in this field via the open symposia that we will organise.
 
Description To date (2019) five presentations have been made at symposia and major international conferences. Eight of the required international symposia have been organised on schedule in York, Kaiserlautern and Sendai. The next one will be held in June in York. Each was attended by approximately 100 participants. Five exchange visits annually have been made from York to Sendai and two visitors from Tohoku have been received in York. In terms of symposia and exchange the objectives have been met if not slightly exceeded. In terms of technical output we are on target to meet the objectives. We have also made 66 presentations at international conferences and 12 publications in world-leading scientific journals. Further visitors from Tohoku and Kaiserslautern will be received in York this year. In addition a Summer School was organised in York in 2017 as advised elsewhere. We continue to meet the objectives regarding the symposia and exchange.

In the final year of this programme the work has proceeded as expected and all objectives in the original proposal have been met or in some cases exceeded to a significant degree. A further 11 publications have been generated in 2019-20 and on the technical front the work has been largely a continuation in a technical sense from what was achieved in previous years.

In terms of engagement this grant funded a major collaboration programme with Japan and a further three symposia have been held in the last year two of which were in Japan at Tohoku University and one of which was held here in York. The symposium here in York is of some significance because it attracted 135 attendees of which 37 were visitors from Japan,2 from the United States and 3 from France. These symposia have now grown to the point where it has been said that they are the best meetings in spintronics perhaps in the whole of Western Europe. In consequence having established the meetings and the programme of exchange for young researchers principally to Japan, a further application has been made to EPSRC to continue the programme of symposia and exchange for a further 5 year period. This is because of both the quality of the symposia but also the highly beneficial effects for young people being able to access the world leading facilities at Tohoku University. Tohoku University is the world's leading centre for studies of spintronics and within one laboratory alone has a set of state-of-the-art facilities which is perhaps three times larger and certainly much more modern than the entire UK magnetism community.

There have been 11 further awards or invited talks as recognition of the quality of the work significantly among which was the award of the IEEE Magnetics Society Distinguished Service Award to K O'Grady but more significantly the election of Prof Atsufumi Hirohata as the Secretary/Treasurer of the IEEE Magnetics Society. This election is of great significance because it is the practice of the Society that once elected to this senior role the individual concerned then becomes the Vice-President of the Society at the end of their two year term and following a further two years as Vice-President becomes the President of the Magnetics Society. This wil give the UK magnetism community a significant level of influence in the worldwide community involved in this subject. Prof Hirohata is only the second person to achieve this distinction in the history of the Magnetics Society which dates back to the 1950's.

With regard to technical visits and secondments only one final visit was made from York to Japan during the last year but no less than 13 young scientists from Japan, principally Tohoku University but also other institutions, came to use the facilities at York. The reason why so few visits were made from York was because the success in previous years meant that there was only a limited budget available for further visits.

It is also worthy of note that at the final UK symposium the University of York renewed it's Cooperation Agreement with Tohoku University and the meeting was also attended by representatives of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science including the UK Director Prof Nobuo Ueno. Dr John Hand of EPSRC also attended for part of the meeting so as to become aware of what had been achieved by this Core-to-Core grant. It is based on discussions with Dr Hand that a further modest bid has now been submitted to EPSRC to continue the funding for the symposia and in particular the exchange programme which will now also involve the universities of Leeds and Manchester.

The objectives, particularly with regard to the networking with Japan and Germany were exceeded to a significant degree. The technical objectives were broadly met and in some areas exceeded.
Exploitation Route Following Dr Laurence Wilson's visits to various institutions in Japan, his student Emma Brock obtained a place on the JSPS summer programme to visit Prof. Nakamura in Tohoku. Dr Wilson and Martin Bees (Maths department at York) have been awarded a Royal Society exchange grant (IEC\R3\183084), "Orientational alignment of helical micro-swimmer trajectories in oscillatory flow" 2 years, £12,000 total) to follow up a project with Prof. Ishikawa.

The outcomes of the funding are being taken forward subject to the renewal of the funding for the symposia in exchange. Importantly the use of limited funding to establish a further collaboration in the field of Biophysics for Dr Laurence Wilson of the University of York continues and has expanded using additional funding that has been obtained from the Royal Society. Further funding to support this new collaboration has been obtained from the JSPS Summer Programme. At the time of writing further exchanges are on hold due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics

URL https://www-users.york.ac.uk/~ah566/
 
Description As required by the original grant application the major societal impact of this project is the high level of interaction and exchange between, in particular, York and Tohoku University in Japan. There are no economic impacts thus far. Given the early stage of this report there are no major impacts on the public, private or voluntary sectors. However we believe that our input to EPSRC was a major influence in their deciding to go forward with a second round of proposals under the JSPS Core-to-Core programme. The challenges that we overcame were getting the EPSRC staff to understand high level international research. 12 papers have been published. There are no economic impacts at this time. In addition to the access to the enormous technical resources available at Tohoku University it cannot be overstated that the young people who have been involved in the exchanges with Tohoku University have received a significant input to their personal development, both as scientists and as individuals. Given that we now live and work in a globalised society particularly in the field of high level science the dominance of Japan in many areas but in particular magnetism means that having spent even a short period of time living and working in a society that has significant differences from the West not only makes a contribution to the personal development of young people but also to their employment prospects. The feedback received from the young people involved in the exchanges in both directions has always been extremely positive. In particular for a young Japanese person to have worked in the UK is significant because it is proof that they have the capability to work in the English language.
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Education
Impact Types Policy & public services

 
Description CREST
Amount ¥86,000,000 (JPY)
Organisation JST Mfg 
Sector Private
Country Japan
Start 10/2017 
End 03/2023
 
Description EP/V007211/1
Amount £438,533 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/V007211/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2021 
End 03/2026
 
Description 10th Workshop of the Core-to-Core Project Tohoku-York-Kaiserslautern (Sendai, Japan - December 2019) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshop as part of wider international collaboration
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description 65th Annual Conference on Magnetism and Magnetic Materials (MMM) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact We gave two talks on Interface Characterisation on a MTJ Using TEM and SEM and Resolution of non-destructive imaging for buried interfaces.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description 6th JSPS Core-to-Core Workshop on New Concept Spintronics 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshop as part of wider international collaboration
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description 8th Workshop of the Core-to-Core Project (Sendai, Japan - January 2019) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshop as part of wider international collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Core-to-Core International Workshop Kaiserslautern-Sendai-York 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshop as part of wider international collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Core-to-Core International York Tohoku Kaiserslautern Symposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshop as part of wider international collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Core-to-Core International York Tohoku Kaiserslautern Symposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact May 2018 workshop as part of wider collaboration
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Core-to-Core York-Tohoku-Kaiserlautern Research Symposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshop as part of wider international collaboration
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Current Research in Magnetism (CRIM) 2020: High Frequency Spintronics 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact We presented our recent results on spin currents induced by surface plasmon polaritons.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description GIMRT Joint International Symposium on Radiation Effects in Materials and Actinide Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact We gave an invited talk on Structural and chemical analysis on magnetic tunnel junctions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description IEEE Magnetics Symposium 2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact We gave a keynote talk on Spintronic Junctions for Efficient Computation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description JSPS-EPSRC-DFG Core-to-Core Programme. York-Tohoku-Kaiserslautern Research Symposium on "New-Concept Spintronics Devices" (York UK June 2019) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshop as part of wider international collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Joint European Magnetic Symposia (JEMS) 2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact We gave two talks on Cross-sectional TEM imaging of NiCrMnSi and CoFe:N alloys for magnetic tunnel junctions and Resolution of non-destructive imaging for buried interfaces.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Nanomaterials: Applications and Properties (NAP) 2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact We gave a keynote talk on Spintronic Devices for Efficient Computing.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Tohoku-York-Kaiserslautern Symposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshop as part of wider international collaboration
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description York-Tohoku Summer School in Spintronics 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact The Tohoku Summer School was held at the University of York in the UK in 2017 as part of the Core-to-Core grant. Talks were given by 7 academics from various universities in the UK and 2 from Japan as well as by students from research groups. Students attending this event came from Japan and the UK. The event was organised by Professor O'Grady's postgraduate students.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://yorktohoku2017.wixsite.com/summerschool
 
Description York-Tohoku-Kaiserslautern Symposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshop as part of wider international collaboration
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015