HMC Physics Colloquium

Tuesdays at 16:30 in Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning, Room B460

Eric Fullerton (’84)

University of California at San Diego

Exploiting the Spin Angular Momentum to Control Magnetism at the Nanoscale

Sept. 20, 2011

In most magnetic applications the orientations of the magnetic elements are controlled by external magnetic fields. However, it has recently been appreciated that the relative orientations of nano-magnets can be controlled directly by the injection of spin-polarized currents known as spin-transfer effects. This results fundamentally from the transfer of angular momentum from the spin current to the magnetic material. While this effect provides new insight into the interaction of current and magnetism, the ability of a spin-polarized current to reverse the orientation of a nanomagnets enables a range of new devices such as high performance random-access magnetic memories and spin-oscillators. In this presentation I will review the basic properties of spin-transfer and highlight recent research on spin-transfer effects in nano-elements having strong magnetic anisotropy.