Smaller, faster, and more efficient electronic devices are a vital part of Europe’s economic growth and industrial innovation, and could significantly contribute to its goal of a 20 % reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020. Spintronics, which uses a fundamental property – intrinsic spin – of electrons to process information in a way that is analogous to charge in traditional electronics, holds potential to meet such aims. Researchers have begun exploring materials that have geometric structure which protect the configuration of electrons’ spin. These are known as topologically-protected spin structures (TSS), and could enable greater data storage and device efficiency. However, fundamental understanding and reliable characterisation tools for TSS are still lacking.
This project will develop and validate measurement tools and techniques for describing TSS, helping to identify key parameters that determine the formation, size, and stability of TSS. By performing fundamental investigations on spintronics, the project aims to progress TSS towards standardisation and support Europe’s continuing expertise and competitiveness in electronic device manufacturing.