Researchers create focused spin wave beams

December 22, 2015 by Carina Eliasson
Focused spin wave beams. Credit: University of Gothenburg

Researchers at the University of Gothenburg Physics Department have finally found the secret to synchronize an unlimited number of spintronic oscillators. Such devices are very promising for future applications requiring wideband functionality.

Unfortunately, such nanoscale microwave suffer from an unbearably low power and high phase noise. It is generally accepted that one of the most attractive ways to solve this issue is to synchronize a large number of these nanoscopic oscillators in order to limit the detrimental influence of thermal energy.

The synchronization of two such oscillators was first published in 2005. However, by 2013 the number of synchronized oscillators had only increased to four low-frequency oscillators and three microwave-frequency oscillators. Furthermore, the coupling was difficult to control in a reproducible manner.

PhD student Afshin Houshang and his supervisor Dr. Randy Dumas in Professor Johan Åkerman's team have now succeeded in demonstrating that it is possible to create and utilize focused beams of spin waves to (i) synchronize oscillators over much larger distances than shown previously and (ii) robustly synchronize a record number of oscillators.

In their article, published in Nature Nanotechnology, they synchronize five oscillators and demonstrate the resulting improvement in the oscillator quality.

"Because we now know how to control the propagation, there is really no limit to how many oscillators we can now synchronize," said Randy Dumas, who sees great potential in several research areas.

Since the direction of the spin wave beam can also be tailored via electrical current through the oscillator and via an external magnetic field, the results will also have a major impact in the burgeoning field of spin wave based electronics, termed magnonics. By changing the direction of the beam, one can choose which oscillators synchronize and thereby control the flow of information in magnonic circuits in a way that was not possible before.

The results also open up new opportunities for fundamental studies of networks of strongly nonlinear oscillators where an array of perhaps a hundred such oscillators in different geometric architectures can be externally controlled and studied in detail.

"We hope to use these and similar components for extremely fast neuromorphic calculations based on oscillator networks," explains Randy.

Explore further: Frequency stabilization in nonlinear nanomechanical oscillators

More information: A. Houshang et al. Spin-wave-beam driven synchronization of nanocontact spin-torque oscillators, Nature Nanotechnology (2015). DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2015.280

Related Stories

Epson develops compact atomic oscillator

November 4, 2015

Seiko Epson Corporation has developed a small, highly stable atomic oscillator, the AO6860LAN, for telecommunications networks and industrial applications. The development of the new oscillator will be presented on November ...

Nano oscillators synchronized by light

December 17, 2012

(—Synchronization phenomena are everywhere in the physical world—from circadian rhythms to side-by-side pendulum clocks coupled mechanically through vibrations in the wall. Researchers have now demonstrated synchronization ...

Researchers take magnetic waves for a spin

January 29, 2014

Researchers at New York University have developed a method for creating and directing fast moving waves in magnetic fields that have the potential to enhance communication and information processing in computer chips and ...

Recommended for you

Nano-decoy lures human influenza A virus to its doom

October 25, 2016

To infect its victims, influenza A heads for the lungs, where it latches onto sialic acid on the surface of cells. So researchers created the perfect decoy: A carefully constructed spherical nanoparticle coated in sialic ...

New method increases energy density in lithium batteries

October 24, 2016

Yuan Yang, assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Columbia Engineering, has developed a new method to increase the energy density of lithium (Li-ion) batteries. He has built a trilayer structure that ...

Nanofiber coating prevents infections of prosthetic joints

October 24, 2016

In a proof-of-concept study with mice, scientists at The Johns Hopkins University show that a novel coating they made with antibiotic-releasing nanofibers has the potential to better prevent at least some serious bacterial ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.