Two grants awarded to Electrical Engineering Professor Holger Schmidt for spin-based electronic device research

Monday, August 24, 2015

Electrical Engineering Professor Holger Schmidt has been awarded two grants from the National Science Foundation: one to study, and one to develop, new technologies that could eventually lead to ultrafast, highly reliable, energy-efficient computers, sensors and other devices.

The new technologies are based on the spin, rather than (or in addition to) the charge, of electrons. This increasingly popular and promising science of spin-based electronics – or “spintronics” – involves understanding and manipulating electron spin, and how this intrinsic property of electrons can be used to improve the efficiency and functionality of electronic devices, including high-density data storage, microelectronics, sensors, quantum computing, biomedical applications and more.

“Spintronic devices require large numbers of individual nanometer-sized elements. These projects will allow us to understand better what influence the size and geometric pattern design have on the device performance,” says Schmidt. “We are particularly excited about working with Samsung’s San Jose-based R&D team. This collaboration provides us with access to next-generation materials and devices as well as with great opportunities for our students.”

About the awards

GOALI: Study of Next-generation Nanopatterned Magnetic Memory Devices

NSF GOALI (Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry) awards facilitate collaborations between universities and industry. This three-year, $400,000 award from the Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems will fund a collaborative effort between Professor Schmidt’s group at UCSC and Samsung to optimize critical material parameters that determine the performance of next-generation magnetic memory devices.

The UC Santa Cruz team brings expertise in ultrafast magneto-optical characterization, while Samsung provides device design and fabrication expertise.  

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Magnetoelastic Control of Magnetization Dynamics in Nanomagnet Arrays

Densely packed nanomagnetic arrays have emerged as the prototype vision for spintronic devices. Recently, researchers have discovered that the geometric design of the magnetic arrays can seriously impact behavior and performance.

With this three-year, $380,000 award from NSF’s Division of Materials Research, Professor Schmidt’s group will study the mechanical and magnetic resonances that occur, investigating how the resonances influence each other, and how to  maximize the dynamic magnetic response for use in energy-efficient devices.

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