MAIN AIMThe main aim of MOLSPIN is to promote networking and collaboration among the different scientific communities that are active in Europe in Molecular Spintronics to consolidate the worldleadership of Europe in this new and emergent field.
Spintronics (spin-based electronics) is one of the emerging branches in nanotechnology and the most active area within nanomagnetism. It was born in Europe in 1988 with the discovery of giant magnetoresistance in metallic multilayers by Albert Fert and Peter Grünberg, Nobel Prize winners in Physics in 2007. This discovery had a strong scientific impact and opened the way to a completely new technology developed by IBM, which resulted in applications in hard drive information storage and in magnetic sensing.
So far spintronics has been based on conventional materials like inorganic metals and semiconductors. However, with the contemporary evolution of molecular electronics and molecular magnetism, and with the evolution of spintronics towards nanospintronics, a new field namely Molecular Spintronics is emerging that combines the ideas and concepts developed in spintronics with the unique possibilities offered by the molecular systems to perform electronic functions, to form self-organized nanostructures and to exhibit quantum effects at the nanoscale. Its final goals are the fabrication of new and cheaper spintronic devices using molecular materials (organic spintronics) or, in the longer term, one or a few molecules in the race toward miniaturization (single-molecule nanospintronics).
To reach these challenging goals a common and coordinated effort of the Spintronics, Molecular Electronics and Molecular Magnetism communities is needed. These communities are developing a very competitive and high-quality work in Europe in their respective fields. Still, Molecular Spintronics is so new that, for the moment, an initiative to encourage networking of the three communities of researchers in this common field is still lacking. The present proposal intends to fill this gap integrating these communities around a COST Action.
MOLSPIN Action is aimed at the scientific/technological advance of this field and is stimulated by the urgent economic need in electronics to go beyond complementary metal-oxide semiconductors (CMOS) and beyond silicon materials. Future devices for information processing able to increase considerably the public wealth and occupation strictly require a further material downscaling together with a considerable reduction of power consumption and costs. In this context, spintronics is one of the few areas selected to play a significant role in the post-CMOS electronics, even more when naturally downscalable materials based on molecules are combined with low energy consumption information processing via spintronic effects. Hence, this is a timely topic that addresses real scientific / technological issues in spintronics from a molecular perspective.