Workshop on Topological Spintronics and Skyrmionics organized by Prof. Nikolic in France
June 10, 2015 - Prof. Nikolic, who will be working in the Fall as a Visiting Scientist at the Centre de Physique Théorique de Grenoble-Alpes, and colleageus from Spintec and CEA in Grenoble are organizing a Workshop on the emerging research area of Topological Spintronics and Skyrmionics.
Spintronics explores phenomena intertwining electronic charge and spin. The ability of spintronics to re-energize itself in directions that germinate new subfields has made it one of the most fertile grounds for basic research aimed at future applications. One of the burgeoning areas of next-generation spintronics exploits relativistic effects in nonmagnetic materials know as spin-orbit coupling (SOC) to generate, detect or exploit spin-polarized or pure spin currents. Strong surface and bulk SOC can be introduced into spintronic heterostructures using recently discovered topological insulator (TI) materials. They possess a usual band gap in the bulk while also hosting metallic surfaces whose low-energy quasiparticles behave as massless Dirac fermions with spins locked to their momenta. The SOC can also give rise to strong Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction (DMI) which competes with conventional exchange interaction to create chiral domain walls or skyrmions as swirling spin textures characterized by nanoscale size, topological stability against defects and impurities, and gyro-dynamics analogous to that of a charged particle under magnetic field.
In the workshop, world-leading experimentalists and theorists will gather to review the current status of emerging phenomena where topology of skyrmions in real space or topology of Dirac electrons in k-space, as well as their interplay, can be exploited for novel ultralow power memory and logic device that can potentially solve the heating and scaling issues associated with the conventional CMOS technology.