Nanotechnology allows us to modify the properties of materials in a new way, creating functionality that is not possible in larger-scale versions of the same material. This is particularly the case for magnetic materials, where the very simple linear magnetic properties that might exist in the bulk can be tailored and made much more complex once structures approach 100nm in size or less. In this lecture I show how nanometre-scale magnetic materials can be used to build a new generation of microelectronic devices that use both the spin and the charge of the electron. Applications for such devices range from the battlefield through to MP3 players. I conclude the lecture by describing how this research unexpectedly ended up in the formation of a spin-out company which is now selling anti-counterfeiting solutions to brand owners around the world.
Our General Interest Seminars are an opportunity for distinguished speakers to present new research in physics and related areas. The material presented is suitable for undergraduate level upwards and all members of the School are welcome to attend..