First-principles based Design of Spintronic Materials and Devices
In today's electronic devices electrons are manipulated through their electrical charge. A specific technology goal is the design, fabrication and demonstration of a half-metal with carefully controlled magnetic properties tailored to meet the requirements of non-volatile magnetic memories. The project aims to provide an improved understanding of half-metals and magnetic materials in general, how one can relate 'first-principles' calculations to experimentally accessible and technologically relevant materials and device parameters. This project will also develop models based on state-of-the-art Non-Equilibrium Green Functions to calculate their transport characteristics. Experimentally, the candidate materials, test their electrical, magnetic, and structural characteristics will be synthesized and compare to theoretical predictions. The results of this characterization will then be fed back to refine our theoretical methods. Promising materials will be tested with more advanced techniques (such as spin-polarized tunneling and local-electrode atom probe tomography), providing more detailed information for more advanced modeling.