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Dr. Ewa Mlynczak

The ‘Epitaxial Nanostructures for Spin-Orbitronics (EpiSpin)’ project will be realized within the Helmholtz Postdoc Programme from 2015-2018. The EpiSpin project deals with the spin-orbit torque (SOT) effect which can be observed in the epitaxial bilayers composed of the thin films of ferromagnetic metal (FMM) and heavy metal (HM). Due to SOT, the magnetization direction of the FMM layer can be switched as a result of the in-plane charge current. The effect of SOT is not fully understood which makes it very interesting from the point of view of fundamental science.

Moreover, it is appealing for applications as it can be used to write information in nanoelectronic devices. Preparation of the FMM/HM nanostructures using molecular beam epitaxy results in the high crystalline quality of the layers and structural perfection of the interfaces which enables one to relate the experimentally observed phenomena to their theoretical description. FMM/HM bilayers are studied using spin- and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (SpinARPES) combined with the in-situ and ex-situ electronic transport measurements.

The University partner of the project is the 2nd Institute of Physics RWTH Aachen University where the ex-situ transport experiments will be performed. An international partner of the project is the AGH University of Science and Technology in Cracow (Poland), where the characterization of the FMM/HM interfaces will be performed using conversion electron Mössbauer spectroscopy. The project will receive support from the theorists of the Topological Nanoelectronics Group of Forschungszentrum Jülich (PGI-1).