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Optical characterization of spin phenomena in ultra-low-power devices for green electronics


Magneto-optical techniques exploit the dependence of the polarization state of a reflected, or transmitted, light on the spin configuration of a material, either magnetic or non-magnetic. Such phenomena can be actively used to measure the spin accumulation and transport in functional devices, where it is produced either by an electrical voltage (spin-orbitronics) or a heat flux (spin-caloritronics).
In this thesis work, advanced magneto-optical (MO) techniques, employing a properly dedicated setup recently developed, will be used to detect the magnetic state of two-dimensional (2D) materials and devices. Because of their widely tunable and largely anisotropic properties in magnetism and optics, 2D materials have demonstrated a variety of exclusive or anomalously large magneto-optic effects, making them really promising for future applications, as contactless tools for both high-accuracy magnetic property investigation and optical modulation.
In particular, during the thesis work MO tools will be employed in the framework of a research activity on sustainable spin-current generation relying on spin-caloritronics effects, developed within the SUBLI project (Sustainable Spin Generators based on Van der Waals dichalcogenides), in collaboration with Spin-CNR (Genova).
The goal of this project is to exploit the interplay between heat and spin currents in non-magnetic two-dimensional dichalcogenides (MoS2, SnSe2, …) to convert environmental heat and/or waste heat (e.g. coming from dissipation power in electronic circuits) into electrical power, in the framework of low-power green electronics.

What will you do?

  • Literature study
  • Ultra-sensitive and micro-focused optical setup optimization
  • Device design and nanofabrication
  • Optical measurements of spin transport/accumulation

Thesis duration: about 9 months full-time
Workplace: Polifab (Ed.30) – campus Leonardo
Responsible: prof. Matteo Cantoni