The Spin on Electronics!
Prof. Dr. Stuart S.P. Parkin (Max Planck Institute for Microstructure Physics, Halle, Germany / IBM Research – Almaden, California, USA )
Recent advances in manipulating spin-polarized electron currents in atomically engineeredmagnetic heterostructures make possible entirely new classes of sensor, memoryand logic devices - a research field generally referred to as spintronics. A magneticrecording read head, initially formed from a spin-valve, and more recently by a magnetictunnel junction, has enabled a 1,000-fold increase in the storage capacity of hard disk drives since 1997. The very low cost of disk drives and the high performance and reliability of solid-state memories, may be combined in the Racetrack Memory. The Racetrack Memory is a novel three dimensional technology which stores informationas a series of magnetic domain walls in nanowires, manipulated by spin polarizedcurrent. Spintronic devices may even allow for “plastic” devices that mimic synaptic switches in the brain, thereby allowing for the possibility of very low power computing devices.