SPINICUR (from spin currents) is a training network of European experts dedicated to providing state-of-the-art education and training for early stage and experienced researchers. We have concentrated on an aspect of spintronics – pure spin currents – and specific technical goals in order to secure a very high level of industrial involvement and strong network connectivity through a sharp focus. The overarching objective of this network is to significantly enhance the employment prospects of 11 ESRs and 4 ERs by: (a) choosing a scientific subject that has high impact and is close to exploitation, (b) ensuring that all researchers receive complementary skills training that is relevant to industry and academia, (c) providing projects in world-leading laboratories, with world-class personnel and collaborating with industrial giants (IBM, Hitachi and Siemens), and (d) ensuring that all the researchers spend a secondment with our industrial partners. At the present time only about 10% of the active researchers in this field thoroughout Europe are newly trained each year – that is barely enough to cover natural losses let alone increase our efforts.
Spintronics offers the potential for logic operations that are faster and consume much lower power when compared to conventional semiconductors. Passive spintronic devices are already the basis for a multi-billion dollar industry producing read heads for hard discs and storage cells in MRAM. Alternatives to semiconductor RAM and logic are being actively sought with spintronics offering exciting possibilities such as: the Spin Hall Effect, spin pumping and the spin Seebeck effect to name a few. These pure spin currents and their fundamental understanding is the scientific objective of SPINICUR. As the culmination of this network we aim to explore the fundamentals of spin amplification in designs such as the spin-torque transistor. Thus our technical objective is to apply the knowledge gained to real devices.
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