Superconduction Spintronics

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Materials Science & Metallurgy

Abstract

Spintronics is the study of electron spin and the potential exploitation of this property in future devices, intended as an improved version of modern electronics. Superconductivity is a phenomenon certain materials exhibit at very low temperatures, allowing current flow with no resistance (and therefore no energy loss).
My project is in the area of superconducting spintronics, focussing on the interaction of electron spin with this superconducting state, which if understood enough to be utilised could lead to more energy efficient high powered quantum computing. Naturally, these do not combine easily, as the ordinary superconducting state involves pairs of electrons with opposite spins, which cancel each other and do not permit overall spin transport.
Currently, my research is looking at spin injection into superconducting layers via spin pumping, which involves precessing a magnetic moment in an adjacent ferromagnetic material. Additionally, I hope to investigate the impact of additional metallic layers, acting as spin sinks, which have shown indications of increasing the number and effective lifetime of injected particles.
This work is aligned with an EPSRC Programme grant."

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509620/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1937222 Studentship EP/N509620/1 01/10/2017 31/03/2021 Ben Stoddart-Stones
 
Description Spin valves are ubiquitous devices in moden electronics, in which a current passing through a spacer layer between two ferromagnets experiences a different resistance depending on the spin of electrons within that current. Superconducting spin valves include a superconducting spacer layer, to save energy, as supercondcutors transport electricity without energy loss.
In this work, superconducting spin valves in which the current passes through the different layers perpendicularly have been fabricated, and an unexpected resistance behaviour has been observed. These results are currently being written into a paper.
Exploitation Route These results will increase understanding of superconducting spin valves, to aid future research in this field. It may open up new potential uses for these devices. Superconducting spin valves will be necessary components in a complete future supercondcuting spintronics based computer, which would be more energy and time efficient, dramatically decreasing the energy requirements of data centres and similar large scale computing set ups.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics

 
Description Poster Presentation at 2018 Summer school on Superconducting Electronics 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The 2018 Summer school on Superconducting Electronics was a week long series of lectures on various different types of superconducting electronics technologies, primarily all future computing technologies. This summer school aimed to educate and inspire future researchers in these fields. As part of this, attendees performed a poster presentation and discussed their research with each other, with the aim of broadening horizons and developing more rounded knowledge.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.eps.org/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=1093787
 
Description Poster Presentation at Non-equilibrium superconductivity and spintronics meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The 'Non-equilibrium superconductivity and spintronics meeting' was a two day conference hosted by the Royal Society that brought together researchers from these fields from across the world to discuss recent research and encourage collaboration. A range of work was presented, and encouraging connections were made, including improvements to planned work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://royalsociety.org/science-events-and-lectures/2019/02/superconductivity-spintronics/
 
Description Poster Presentation at Oxide Superconducting Spintronics Workshop 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The 'Oxide Superconducting Spintronics Workshop 2018' was a week long conference focusing on superconducting spintronics, especially using oxide materials. A number of eminent researchers from around the world attended to present their recent results, with the aim of planning further research via co-operation between different groups that work in this area. Work between these groups has continued to be fruitful since this event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://gefes-rsef.org/oxide-superconducting-spintronics-workshop-2018-amalfi/
 
Description Poster Presentation at Superconducting Spintronics and Majorana Physics Symposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The 'Superconducting Spintronics and Majorana Physics Symposium' was a 2 day conference with attendees, primarily researchers and postgraduates, from around the UK and from Israel. The conference focused on recent discoveries in Majorana physics and superconducting spintronics and aimed to stimulate discussion and collaboration on these topics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018