Spintronics is an emerging technology in which the spin degrees of freedom of the electron play a fundamental role, in contrast to the charge degrees of freedom in conventional electronic devices.

Our research is focused on the control and the use of spin degrees of freedom, on fundamentals of the development of spin electronic devices and on the possibility of injecting spin polarised currents. The well known Rashba effect plays a central role in this research.

Together with Halperin (Harvard) and Efros (Naval Research Lab), Rashba has developed the theory of spin generation by nonlinear transport, of spin Hall conductivity and of the electric dipole resonance (Rashba resonance) in quantum dots.

This has led to studies of networks of small magnetic particles, nanomagnets and nano-mechanical systems. Experimental work on thin and ultra-thin films and heterostructures such as Co2MnSi deposited in house by laser ablation and MnAs grown on GaAs (produced by Ploog in Berlin), has identified important factors influencing the magnetisation process, domain formation and moment stability of these magnetic-semiconductor heterostructures.

For this work Dr. Mike Cropper received a Knowledge Transfer Award in 2004 for his partnership with Scientific Vacuum Systems Ltd.