Spintronics

The study of the property of electrons known as 'spin' and its potential exploitation in specially designed devices. Specifically, this research area focuses on phenomena called spin polarisation and spin polarisation transfer. It also includes organic Spintronics.

By the end of the Delivery Plan, we will work with the Spintronics community to enable closer links to research in other fields that can promote translation of its research outputs. We will also work with the Spintronics community to ensure appropriate use of large facility investments that maximise their full potential.

As well as producing high-quality research across the Spintronics research area, the community has an early-lead opportunity in the emerging field of skyrmions. This is due to recent large investments and the availability of high-quality facilities. We would expect these facilities to be fully utilised to produce high-quality research and to establish a world-leading position for the UK in this field.

Our strategy also has the following aims over the course of the Delivery Plan:

  • The community should look to strengthen links with research areas that can, over the long term, translate the research into new technologies. Examples include the Condensed Matter - Electronic Structure and Superconductivity areas which present opportunities through links between Spintronics and materials exhibiting exotic topological phases
  • We will encourage continued close working with researchers investigating fundamental aspects of magnetism, while also looking to forge close links with researchers interested in device design and manufacture. This will enable fast transition of new scientific discoveries into new technologies
  • We expect research on single-spin systems (e.g. phosphorus in silicon) to become more closely linked to the activities of the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme (UKNQTP) over the course of this Delivery Plan

The UK has world-leading characterisation facilities at the Diamond Light Source synchrotron and the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source. The Spintronics community derives great benefit from these and should ensure that these investments are exploited to their maximum potential.

Highlights:

This community is very closely linked to the Condensed Matter - Magnetism and Magnetic Materials research area and benefits from access to a similar set of facilities (see strategic focus section) (Evidence source 1,2). This area also has links with the Condensed Matter - Electronic Structure, Superconductivity, Graphene and Carbon Nanotechnology, and Microelectronics Device Technology areas.

The UK has a high-quality Spintronics community which is well-placed to contribute to future technologies in the Information Technology (IT) sector by providing a link between fundamental condensed matter physics research and device design and manufacture (Evidence source 3,4). For example, Spintronics researchers can contribute to advances in non-volatile data storage (Evidence source 5,6) or to the move beyond  complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) technology (Evidence source 7,8,9).

There is strong provision for leading researchers through large investments and managed calls designed to increase international collaboration, and there are currently good training opportunities for both students and postdoctoral research assistants (PDRAs) within this research area.

This area relates to a range of Outcomes and Ambitions, and in particular the following Productive, Connected and Resilient Nation Ambitions:

P1: Introduce the next generation of innovative and disruptive technologies

This research area can contribute to new computing technologies that use spin rather than charge to store and process data.

C1: Enable a competitive, data-driven economy

This research area can contribute to new computing technologies that use spin rather than charge to store and process data.

R4: Manage resources efficiently and sustainably

Spintronic technologies offer the possibility of improving energy efficiency in computational devices.

Research area connections

This diagram shows the top 10 connections between Research Areas within the EPSRC research portfolio. The depth of the segment relates to value of grants and the width of the segment relates to the number of grants shared by those two Research Areas. Please click to see the related Research Area rationale.

Maintain

We aim to maintain this area as a proportion of the EPSRC portfolio.

Visualising our Portfolio (VoP)
Visualising our portfolio (VoP) is a tool for users to visually interact with the EPSRC portfolio and data relationships.

EPSRC Support by Research Area in Spintronics (GoW)
Search EPSRC's research and training grants.

Contact Details

In the following table, contact information relevant to the page. The first column is for visual reference only. Data is in the right column.

Name: Rebecca How
Job title: Portfolio Manager
Section / Team: Condensed matter physics, spintronics and superconductivity
Organisation: EPSRC
Telephone: 01793 444582