Ultrafast Spintronics: from Fundamentals to Technology
The 21st century digital economy and technology is presently facing fundamental scaling limits (heating and the superparamagnetic limit) as well as societal challenges: the move to mobile devices and the increasing demand of cloud storage leads to an enormous increase in energy consumption of our ICT infrastructure. These developments require new strategies and paradigm shifts, such as spin-based technologies and the introduction of photonic processors. Currently, photons are used for information transport, electrons for processing and spins for storage. Future developments will require integration of these separate technologies. Spintronic or spin-based memory such as Spin-torque transfer magnetic Random Access Memory (STT-RAM) is one concept that may revolutionize memory technology. The ability to control spins and macroscopic magnetic ordering by means of femtosecond laser pulses provides an alternative and energy efficient approach to magnetic recording. But this will only provide a novel and energy efficient alternative to current data storage if spintronics can be integrated with photonics. Such integration may also allow faster spin logic. Antiferromagnetic materials may provide another alternative for fast spintronics, but there are still many challenges. In this workshop we want to discuss recent developments in this exciting field as well as the challenges that lay ahead.