Scroll to Section:

The silicon-based technology that is used today to access and compute information is reaching its limits. To further improve computing capacity, this essentially two-dimensional technology, as STUART PARKIN puts it, needs to give way to the three-dimensional approach of spintronic devices that use not only electric current but also the spin of the electrons. In this video, he explains how the research team created a new type of storage device. It consists of billions of so-called race tracks which are essentially vertical columns of magnetic material in which tiny magnetic regions representing zeros and ones are stored. These can be manipulated using a current of spin polarized electrons that can move information up and down these race tracks. During the last three to four years, the researchers discovered four distinct new physical phenomena that enable them to move the magnetic regions in these racetracks extremely efficiently with current pulses. This could pave the way to solid-state devices with about one hundred times the capacity of today's solid-state drives because of the three-dimensional nature of this new concept that is entirely derived from the new physics of spintronics.


Stuart Parkin is Director of the Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics in Halle/Salle, Germany and Professor at the Institute of Physics of the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. He is also an IBM Fellow (IBM’s highest technical honor) and a Consulting Professor in the Department of Applied Physics at Stanford University. Parkin’s research interest lies in the field of material sciences where he currently focusses on applied spintronics.
Parkin is known for his work on the giant magneto-resistance effect, for which he was awarded the American Physical Society’s James C. McGroddy Prize for New Materials and the Hewlett-Packard Europhysics Prize together with Peter Grünberg and Albert Fert. His achievements have been recognized with a lot of international awards as well as several guest professorships. Parkin is Honorary Professor at the University College London and a Fellow at several Academies of Sciences, including the Royal Society London and National Academy of Sciences, USA.


Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics

The Institute has substantial experimental and theoretical research programs that are focussed on novel materials with useful functionalities. Of particular interest are spintronic materials and devices, neuromorphic devices and systems, nano-photonics, topological metals and insulators.  The Institute is involved in extensive collaborative research projects, both National and International, with partners in China, India, Europe including Israel, and the USA. Besides, the institute has an extensive infrastructure that includes a state of the art modelshop, electronics workshop, a supercomputer, and a clean-room, as well as a wide range of modern experimental facilities.

Show more

Original publication

Suppression of Metal-Insulator Transition in VO2 by Electric Field–Induced Oxygen Vacancy Formation

Jeong Jaewoo, Aetukuri Nagaphani, Graf Tanja, Schladt Thomas D., Samant Mahesh G. and ParkinStuart S. P.
Published in 2013

Reading recommendations

Memory on the Racetrack

Parkin Stuart S. P. and Yang See-Hun
Nature Nanotechnology
Published in 2015

Giant reversible, facet-dependent, structural changes in a correlated-electron insulator induced by ionic liquid gating

Jeong Jaewoo, Samant Mahesh G., Aetukuri Nagaphani B, Passarello Donata, Conradson Steven D. and Parkin Stuart
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Published in 2015