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High anisotropy materials for magnetic nanotechnologies


The main content of this dissertation will be on novel magnetic materials for spintronics and, more precisely, for spin transfer torque based memory and spin logic devices. While the general concept of spin transfer torque has been clearly demonstrated the vast majority of research has been on "conventional" transition metal alloys (e.g. permalloy (NiFe) and CoFe). These materials are typically soft magnetic materials where the anisotropy is controlled by the device shape. However, is clear that such materials are far from optimal for understanding the underlying physics of spin-torque and its application to spin-transfer devices. The aim of the research will be on developing novel magnetic films, wires and nano-elements for which the intrinsic materials parameters such as intrinsic defects, magnetic anisotropy, damping constant, spin polarization and magnetization can be tuned over a large range, controlled, optimized and utilized for spin- transfer devices. This will enable tests of the basic physics of spin-transfer, including the magnetization dynamics and switching time as well as the threshold currents for current induced excitations, which depend sensitively on the intrinsic materials parameters. This will further allow the materials and device architectures to be optimized for spin-torque applications

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