Nanoscale spin transport in metals
Speaker: Dr Liam O’Brien, University of Liverpool
Title: Nanoscale spin transport in metals
Abstract: Spintronics research aims to develop new materials and devices which manipulate the spin degree of freedom with an array of potential applications proposed in areas from data storage and computation, to sensing and communications. Despite the maturity of spintronics, however, there remain notable gaps in our understanding of spin relaxation, even in relatively simple light metals and across thin film multilayers. Historically, this has been limited by an inability to separate pure spin transport from charge current flow, which ultimately impedes progress in next-generation devices, and has particular challenges for future scaling of the magnetoresistive sensors found in hard disk drives. Recently, multiple new ways have been demonstrated to experimentally generate pure spin currents, and so control magnetism at the nanoscale, with many approaches relying on the precise interplay between structure and spin current flow. Here, I will discuss our use of several pure spin current-generating effects to establish a broad overview of spin transport in metallic heterostructures and devices. I will show how this strategy, along with precise chemical and structural analysis, allows us to begin to probe the limits of spin transport. This includes elucidating the role of newly discovered spin-based analogues to conventional charge transport, including the (spin) Kondo and (spin) Hall effects.
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