CE09 - Nanomatériaux et nanotechnologies pour les produits du futur

UFO UltraFast Opto-magneto-spintronics – UFO

Submission summary

A new field is emerging which combines ultra fast optics, nanomagnetism and spin electronics. It will open new possibilities for ultrafast low-dissipative manipulation and transport of information. In this UFO project, ultrafast laser will be used to generate hot electron pulses. The Sub picosecond hot electron pulses will then enable the manipulation of spin and magnetization in spintronic devices. A strong consortium will tackle this project: the team at IJL showed that not only ferrimagnetic alloys but also ferromagnetic multilayers and granular media can be switched by sub picosecond laser pulses. They also demonstrated very recently for the first time that sub picosecond hot electron pulses can generate ultrafast magnetization switching. On the other hand the team at SPINTEC has a long and internationally recognized experience in the field of spintronics and its applications. Finally the team at LPCT is expert in ab initio calculations, in particular density functional theory.

The UFO research program can be summarized in three major objectives:

- Provide a fundamental understanding of the interaction between ultra-short (polarised) pulses of light, spin polarised current and magnetic objects especially at the nanometer length scale and femto-second time scale in engineered spintronic devices;
- Demonstrate that magnetization and polarized current can be manipulated in spintronic devices such as a magnetic SOT-Hall cross, spin-valves and tunnel junctions with the help of polarized light;
- Fabricate spintronic devices (memory cells and logic elements) prototypes evidencing speed, energy efficiency and scalability when illuminated with femtosecond laser pulses.

The project will also lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms behind both single-pulse femtosecond all-electron switching (AES) and single-pulse femtosecond all optical switching (AOS) which remain under heavy discussion in the spintronics community and of the out-of-equilibrium light/electron/magnetisation interaction in general. Since our ambitious goal is to study femtosecond spin-orbitronics for the understanding of out-of-equilibrium physics involved in this process, we need to have the tools to reach the fundamental time and length scales of electron/matter interactions - the electron and spin relaxation, scattering and thermalisation - that are on the order of 1-10 nm and 10-100 fs for the material considered. We need to develop a multidisciplinary approach combining nanomaterial growth as well as structural, electronic, and magnetic characterisation, micro and nanofabrication of spintronic devices, ultra-fast optic capabilities to detect the ultra-short electron pulse characteristics and magnetisation dynamics induced by ultra-short electron pulses, and finally theoretical and modelling tools to determine the mechanisms behind the ultra-short electron pulse generation and magnetisation dynamics. Over the last ten years, the three partners (IJL, Spintec and LPCT) have developed the tools the infrastructure and the competences needed to reach these objectives and are now ready to bring together highly qualified and complementary researchers to address these interdisciplinary challenges.

Project coordination

Stéphane MANGIN (Institut Jean Lamour (Matériaux - Métallurgie - Nanosciences - Plasmas - Surfaces))

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


SPINTEC Spintronique et Technologie des Composants
LPCT Laboratoir de Physique et Chimie Théoriques
IJL Institut Jean Lamour (Matériaux - Métallurgie - Nanosciences - Plasmas - Surfaces)

Help of the ANR 540,108 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: - 48 Months

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