Seminar: Spintronics: Materials Design from First Principles

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015
Seminar Presentation: 11:00am – Noon
SME 248 - Cymer Conference Center
Spintronics: Materials Design from First Principles
Dr. Yuan Ping Feng
National University of Singapore
It is highly possible that current electronic devices will be replaced by spintronic devices which make use of both charge and spin, two fundamental properties of electron. The major challenge of spintronics is in generating, controlling and detecting spin-polarized current. Materials design based on computational methods, particularly first-principles method based on density functional theory, play a very important role in exploration of spintronic materials. We have been using first-principles method to study properties of advanced materials and to design new materials for spintronic applications. Some of our recent work will be discussed. Using first-principles methods, we have successfully predicted a number of potentially useful spintronic materials such as magnetic semiconductors, topological insulators, etc. and some of our predictions have been successfully confirmed experimentally. We also explore spintronic devices and study their transport properties. For example, we discovered unique spin-dependent electron transport property of zigzag graphene nanoribbons (ZGNRs) which allows control of spin current through the ZGNRs by a bias voltage and/or the magnetic configurations of the electrodes and makes it possible to design a complete set of spin logic gates. Calculations were also performed to search materials for high density magnetic data storage. Our studies shed light on transport behaviors of giant magnetoresistance and tunneling magnetoresistance devices.

Yuan Ping Feng received his B.Sc. in Physics from Lanzhou University in 1982 and Ph.D in Physics from Illinois Institute of Technology in 1987, respectively. He joined the Department of Physics at the National University of Singapore as a faculty member in 1990, following a 3 year postdoctoral stint at Purdue University. His research interest is in computational condensed matter & materials physics, focusing mainly on the understanding of physical properties of materials for advanced technologies, and prediction of new materials based on ab initio electronic structure calculations. He has studied various materials including dilute magnetic semiconductors, graphene spintronics, high-k dielectrics, topological insulators, semiconductor and metal surfaces and interfaces, materials for magnetic data storage, etc. He has authored/co-authored more than 450 scientific papers in international refereed journals and one book. Professor Feng is a fellow of the American Physical Society, a fellow of Institute of Physics, Singapore, and an Academician of the Asian Pacific Academy of Materials. He served as the Head of Physics Department at NUS from 2007 to 2014. He is currently a Vice President of Materials Research Society of Singapore, and the Secretary of International Union of Materials Research Societies.

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