The first use of spin-valve sensors in hard disk drive read heads was in the IBM Deskstar 16GP Titan, which was released in with IBM introduced the microdrive in , the smallest hard drive to date, with a capacity of MB on a single, 1-inch platter. Researchers at the IBM-Stanford Spintronic Science and Applications Center are exploring new spintronics devices that take us beyond the realm of the simple GMR giant magnetoresistive spin valve, including magnetic random access memory MRAM , spin injectors for spin logic applications and the development of a new storage-memory technology called Racetrack Memory. Spintronics research flowered following the discovery of the giant magnetoresistance GMR effect in the late s. Parkin discovered the fundamental underlying spintronics phenomena that made the spin valve a reality while researching novel properties of superlattices formed from combinations of various magnetic and non-magnetic materials based on flowing charge currents through these superlattices. By working at the atomic scale, he discovered that by sandwiching a non-magnetic layer of material between two magnetic layers, where each of the layers was just a few atoms thick, and by applying small magnetic fields, the current flowing through the sandwich could significantly be changed.
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The reality is more complex, given the range of bodies, including IBM and the US military, involved in developing new technologies based on this Nobel-prize-winning discovery. Jones, R. Nature Nanotech. Bush, V. Google Scholar. Moriarty, P. Ziman, J. Vogt, T. Binasch, G. B 39 , — Baibach, M.
McCray, W. Narisetti, R. The Wall Street Journal 1 10 November Vedantam, S. The Washington Post A3 10 October Brumfiel, G.
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Reprints and Permissions. How spintronics went from the lab to the iPod. Nature Nanotech 4, 2—4 Download citation. Issue Date : January Journal of Superconductivity and Novel Magnetism Surface Innovations Nature Communications Advanced Functional Materials Journal of Electronic Materials Advanced search.
Skip to main content. Register your interest. Rent or Buy article Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube. Science , Author information Affiliations W. Patrick McCray Authors W. Patrick McCray View author publications. You can also search for this author in PubMed Google Scholar. Rights and permissions Reprints and Permissions. About this article Cite this article McCray, W.
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The Application of Spintronics
How Spintronics Went from the Lab to the iPod