Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: Spintronics

This research area covers the study of the property of electrons known as ‘spin’ and its potential exploitation in specially designed devices.

Partners involved:
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

The scope and what we're doing

This research area covers the study of the property of electrons known as ‘spin’ and its potential exploitation in specially designed devices. It specifically focuses on phenomena called spin polarisation and spin polarisation transfer. It also includes organic spintronics.

We are working with the spintronics research community to enable closer links to research in fields that can promote translation of spintronics research outputs. We are also working with the spintronics research community to ensure appropriate use of large facility investments that maximise their full potential.

As well as producing high-quality research across the research area, the community has an early-lead opportunity in the emerging field of skyrmions. This is due to earlier large investments and the availability of high-quality facilities. Our aim is for these facilities to be fully used for high-quality research and to establish a world-leading position for the UK in this field.

Our strategy also aims to:

  • strengthen this area’s links with research areas that can, over the long term, translate the research into new technologies. Examples include the Condensed matter: electronic structure and Superconductivity areas, which present opportunities through links between spintronics and materials exhibiting exotic topological phases
  • encourage continued close working with researchers investigating fundamental aspects of magnetism, while also forging close links with researchers interested in device design and manufacture, to enable fast transition of new scientific discoveries into new technologies.

We also expect research on single-spin systems (for example phosphorus in silicon) to become more closely linked to the activities of the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme (UKNQTP).

The UK has world-leading characterisation facilities at the Diamond Light Source synchrotron and the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source. The spintronics community derives great benefit from these and should ensure that these investments are exploited to their maximum potential.

Why we're doing it

This community is very closely linked to the Condensed matter: magnetism and magnetic materials research area and benefits from access to a similar set of facilities. This area also has links with the Condensed matter: electronic structure, Superconductivity, Graphene and carbon nanotechnology, and Microelectronics device technology areas.

The UK has a high quality spintronics community, which is well placed to contribute to future technologies in the information technology  sector by providing a link between fundamental condensed matter physics research and device design and manufacture.

For example, spintronics researchers are contributing to advances in non-volatile data storage and to the move beyond complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) technology.

There has been strong provision for leading researchers through large investments and managed calls designed to increase international collaboration, and there are good training opportunities for both students and postdoctoral research assistants in this research area.

View evidence sources used to inform our research strategies.

Past projects, outcomes and impact

Visualising our portfolio (VoP) is a tool for users to visually interact with the EPSRC portfolio and data relationships. Find out more about research area connections and funding for Spintronics.

Find previously funded projects on Grants on the Web.

Last updated: 6 January 2023

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