Superconducting spin electronics

Main list: Physics and Astronomy Colloquia

Abstract

Prof Mark Blamire
University of Cambridge

Conventional spin electronics (spintronics) research aims to achieve active electronic control of the magnetic state of a device – for example via non-equilibrium spin current flow generating spin transfer torque switching  or the movements of magnetic domain structures. Underpinning the function of such devices is passive exchange coupling between magnetic layers. The field of superconducting spintronics has followed the same path as conventional spintronics with primary attention being focused on the generation and propagation of spin currents and the active effects of such currents on magnetic elements. Our recent experiments based on GdN/Nb/GdN superconducting spin switches show both the largest magnetic control over the critical temperature ever recorded (which can exceed 1.5 K) and infinite magnetoresistance – i.e. a complete switch between zero and full resistance over an extended temperature range. However, the key discovery is the first observation of superconducting exchange coupling which was originally predicted in the 1960s. This talk will explain the results and discuss the significance of superconducting exchange coupling in the development of practical superconducting spintronic devices.  It will also report recent results which demonstrate triplet pair mediated spin current transport through superconductors – another essential ingredient for superconducting spintronics.

  • Venue

    Physics Theatre C

  • Date

    February 16, 2018

  • Time

    From: 10h00 To: 11h00

  • Sponsor

    University of St Andrews
    The oldest university in Scotland, with international renown for both research and education of undergraduates and postgraduates.

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