30 years of spintronics - from the GMR discovery to neuromorphic computing
Time: Thu 2021-04-15 09.15 - 10.00
Lecturer: Professor Johan Åkerman, Department of Physics, Gothenburg University
Spintronics is a term coined in the mid 1990s when the US funding agency DARPA launched a program to harness the combined spin and charge properties of electrons in metals to develop novel memory and computing technologies. Today we usually count the discoveries of Giant Magnetoresistance (GMR) in the late 1980s, for which Albert Fert and Peter Grünberg were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2007, as the actual starting point for this research field. Since then, spintronics has become an extremely rich area of research, spanning all types of materials and many more applications in memory, microwave electronics, and unconventional computing.
In my talk I will give a brief overview of the history and technology of the two main commercial spintronic applications - magnetic hard drives and magnetoresistive random access memory (MRAM). I will describe the two recent spintronic phenomena of spin transfer torque and the spin Hall effect. I will finally describe our own recent forays into spintronic microwave oscillators and how they can be used for emerging neuromorphic computing in two-dimensional nano-oscillator networks.