The beauty, gastronomy and cultural life of San Sebastian are some of the most outstanding assets of our small city. Nevertheless, following the last virtual issue in ACS nano, San Sebastian also stands as a city of science and technology, specially devoted to the nanoscience field. The present work highlights the contribution of the nanoscience community of San Sebastian to nanoscience and technology.
As described in the editorial of this issue, some of the main representatives of the nanoscience community in San Sebastian stand together, namely, the Nanoscience Cooperative Research Center (CIC nanoGUNE), the Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC), the Basque Center for Macromolecular Design and Engineering (Polymat), the Center for Cooperative Research in Biomaterials (CIC biomaGUNE), the Technology Centers Cidetec, CEIT, and Tecnalia, and the Health Institute Biodonostia along with the Centro de Física de Materiales (CFM), a joint initiative of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) and Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC).
This research force has contributed considerably to ACS Nano with more than 100 publications during the past decade, some of which have already had significant impact and are highlighted in this virtual issue.
As reported by the authors “This collaborative work has been combined with our commitment toward industrial development of nanotechnology both locally and worldwide, which has led not only to an increase in top-notch industrial research in our community but also to the launch of a number of promising nanotechnology-based start-up companies”.
The entities highlighted above, express they are confident that, with the continuous and synergetic support from Spanish and Basque authorities, the research activity in the area of nanoscience and nanotechnology will continue to flourish in our beautiful city.
This thesis explores the Hall spin effect, an effect that takes place in metals with spin-orbit coupling and allows charge currents to be converted into spin currents and vice versa. These conversions are of huge technological interest as they have the potential for use in the process to write magnetic memories (like MRAMs) and to read them (as in spin-based log circuits, a recent proposal by Intel). This research has revealed the mechanisms that contribute towards this effect in certain metals, such as platinum (Pt) or tantalum (Ta), which has made it possible to show how the efficiency of this conversion can be enhanced. Platinum (Pt) has also been combined with graphene to produce a device that can efficiently convert spin currents into charge ones.
The Hall spin effect is related to the anomalous Hall effect, known since the 19th century but little understood until recently. The second part of the thesis shows that this relationship in ferromagnetic materials is more complex than previously thought.
Edurne Sagasta studied physics at the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country and after getting a Master’s degree in Nanoscience and Advanced Materials at the same university, she started her PhD thesis at nanoGUNE. ”After studying Physics at university, I wanted to do something that would be more practical. At the same time, I wanted to get involved in a project with more people and have the chance to visit different labs across the world; in short, to embark on a research project,” said the researcher. "Once I had finished my PhD, I decided to make the leap to the world of industry, and right now I am working for the company Mondragon Assembly,” she said.