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ECE Seminar: Manipulating Chiral Spin Textures: Scalable Spintronics with Engineered Phenomena

Speaker Name: 
Dr. Lucas Caretta
Speaker Title: 
President’s Postdoctoral Fellow and a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow
Speaker Organization: 
University of California, Berkeley
Start Time: 
Monday, May 17, 2021 - 10:40am
End Time: 
Monday, May 17, 2021 - 11:45am
Via Zoom Presentation
Asst. Prof. Shiva Abbaszadeh


Excitations in magnetic materials, such as domain walls and skyrmions, provide a rich playground for studying intriguing physical phenomena such as chirality, magnetization dynamics, and spin-orbit coupling. Additionally, they also hold vast technological potential. Domain walls and skyrmions, which can be translated by currents across racetrack-like wire devices, provide a promising approach to encode bits of information for next-generation memory and logic. One technological and scientific challenge is to stabilize small spin textures and move them efficiently with high velocities. This is critical for dense, fast memory and logic. However, in ferromagnetic materials, current-driven spin texture dynamics face an intrinsic “speed limit” and room-temperature-stable magnetic skyrmions are an order of magnitude too large to be useful in any competitive technologies. Here, by synthesizing and engineering a new class of materials– compensated chiral ferrimagnets– we overcome these fundamental limitations plaguing traditional spintronic systems. Moreover, by using advanced electrical and optical techniques (and developing new ones), we show that these systems provide a new platform to study complex fundamental phenomena like topology, interface interactions, and even relativistic dynamics.


Dr. Lucas Caretta is a President’s Postdoctoral Fellow and a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley working under Professor Ramamoorthy Ramesh. Caretta completed his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the supervision of Professor Geoffrey Beach. There he made significant contributions to the understanding of magnetic soliton dynamics in compensated systems. His current research interests focus on developing material systems and techniques to manipulate spin excitations and dynamics in nanoscale thin films. One of the most promising prospects in magnetism is the ability to control the magnetic state of a material using electrical and optical stimuli. This allows for harnessing the coupling between spin, charge, and orbital degrees of freedom. Not only does this have great technological implications, but also provides an arena to investigate a variety of new, fundamental physical phenomena, such as topology, complex dynamics, and even relativity. Studying these phenomena requires electrical and optical probes that push experimental limits to the fastest timescales, the smallest length scales, and highest sensitivity. Much of Caretta’s work is dedicated to improving these techniques to help push magnetism research, and its technology, further.

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