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Tuesday, 24 May 2016

The Graphene Flagship discusses the future of graphene Spintronics in Barcelona

The Graphene Flagship includes a Spintronics Work Package exploring the ultimate potential of graphene and two-dimensional materials for spintronic applications. The next revolution will come when using spin for processing information in computers. The participants of this initiative are meeting on May 24 and 25 at the Bellaterra Campus of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), in an event organised by ICREA Research Prof. Stephan Roche, Group Leader at ICN2 and Deputy Leader of the Spintronics Work Package. This will be the first joint meeting between the Flagship consortium and representatives of the 5 projects related to spintronics selected in the first call of the FLAG-ERA partnership.

All matter is made of atoms, which are composed of subatomic particles. Electrons are negatively charged and generate electricity when they move from one place to another. Objects larger than an atom can remain static or can move, but subatomic particles are constantly spinning. This movement called spin can be modified by a magnetic field. Spintronics is a discipline that explores devices that already exploit the spin properties of electrons for designing data storage technologies (MRAM, hard disk, etc). The next revolution will come when using spin for processing information in computers.

Today’s computers process information using a binary logic based on the movement of electrons: when current passes through a particular transistor, this corresponds to a “1”, and when it is blocked, this corresponds to a “0”. Spintronics will allow circuits to operate not only by the flow of current, but also by the flow of spin in absence of charge currents or by manipulating a continuum of states between 0 and 1 (spin qubits). This way more information can be encoded and we might be able to design faster, more advanced and more efficient computers that consume less energy, produce less heat and allow devices to start up instantly.  

The Graphene Flagship, Europe's biggest ever research initiative, includes a Spintronics Work Package exploring the ultimate potential of graphene and two-dimensional materials for spintronic applications. Work Package Leader is Prof. Bart van Wees, from the University of Groningen (The Netherlands), and the Work Package Deputy Leader is ICREA Research Prof. Stephan Roche, from the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2, Spain). 

The leaders of this exciting research are meeting on May 24 and 25 at the Bellaterra Campus of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). This will be the first joint meeting between the Flagship consortium and representatives of the 5 projects related to spintronics selected in the first call of the FLAG-ERA partnership. This initiative gathers most regional and national funding organisations (NRFOs) in Europe with the goal of supporting the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Flagships. The organiser of the event is the ICREA Research Professor Stephan Roche, Group Leader of the ICN2 Theoretical and Computational Nanoscience Group and Deputy Leader of the Graphene Flagship’s Spintronics Work Package. ICREA Rersearch Prof Sergio O. Valenzuela, Group Leader of the ICN2 Physics and Engineering of Nanodevices Group, will be among the participants.

During this meeting, research goals of all projects will be presented and discussion for possible collaborations engaged. Besides, a brainstorming session on “Roadmapping for Graphene and 2D Materials spintronics” will enable participants to frame how Spintronics activities and research targets should further evolve in the next phase of the Flagship. This means harnessing all produced efforts, knowledge and accomplishments towards the achievement of technology breakthroughs and future enlarged economic and societal impacts. 

About the Graphene Flagship

With a budget of €1 billion, the Graphene Flagship represents a new form of joint, coordinated research on an unprecedented scale, forming Europe's biggest ever research initiative. It was launched in 2013 to bring together academic and industrial researchers to take graphene from the realm of academic laboratories into European society in the timeframe of 10 years. The initiative currently involves over 150 partners from more than 20 European countries. The Graphene Flagship, coordinated by Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden), is implemented around 15 scientific Work Packages on specific science and technology topics, such as fundamental science, materials, health and environment, energy, sensors, flexible electronics and spintronics.