University of California, Riverside

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

NSF Recognizes UCR's Leadership in the Emerging Field of Nanomagnetic Devices

NSF Recognizes UCR's Leadership in the Emerging Field of Nanomagnetic Devices
This July, in recognition of their leadership in the rapidly emerging field of nanomagnetic devices, the UCR team which is focusing on the development of next-generation nanomagnetic devices was awarded/co-awarded two National Science Foundation (NSF) grants to conduct research in the fields of nanomagnetic probe devices and nanomagnetic logic devices, respectively. A truly multidisciplinary effort involving over twelve graduate and undergraduate students, three post-doctoral fellows, and six faculty members from various departments (Electrical, Chemical, and Mechanical Engineering, Chemistry, and Physics) is aimed at the development of nanomagnetic devices for future information computing and energy and health-related applications with features superior to any other conventional alternatives.  Among the applications developed throughout this effort, besides next-generation memory and information storage applications, are also nanomagnetic drug delivery, nanoscale nuclear magnetic resonance (NNMR) spectroscopy, and wireless energy transmission. The 1st grant in the amount of $150,000 was awarded to develop nanomagnetic probes suitable for information storage systems with areal densities above 10 terabit/in^2. Throughout this research, UCR team will use a focused beam of heavy ions to micromachine noprobes that will be further tested by researchers of Nanomond Corporation.  These devices are believed to be critical for the development of multilevel three-dimensional (3D) magnetic recording - a new concept pioneered by researchers at UCR to enable information storage and memory with areal densities above 10 terabit/in^2. Finally, jointly with researchers of the University of Houston (UH) and Seagate Technology, the UCR team co-won a prestigious NSF GOALI grant to conduct research to explore future potential of nanomagnetic logic. The main objective of the project is to demonstrate nanomagnetic logic devices superior to any conventional silicon-based semiconductor technologies. With potential of data packing densities above 10 terabit/in^2 and integration of memory and logic in a 3D space, this technology promises to enable single-chip computing with properties beyond normal imagination.  Throughout the project, the UH team led by Prof. Litvinov and the UCR team will equally share the $361,561 grant.  
The success of the two projects vitally depends on the use of a very sophisticated nanoscale Kerr magnetometry system built from ground zero by post-doctoral fellow Alexander Krichevsky. The spatial resolution of the system is truly unprecedented.  Ideally, the system could be used to detect intrinsic magnetic properties of devices as small as 30 nm. Combined with the powerful nanofabrication capability of focused ion beam (FIB) and an industry-standard testing facility Spinstand Guzik V2002, the nanoscale Kerr system allows researchers at UCR to develop prototype devices that could be used to transfer technologies to the industry in relatively no time at all.
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