Student Travel Award Winners reports
This year’s IEEE Intermag Magnetics Conference held in Nagoya, Japan, was the first to be held outside the USA for some time, and the organisation and hospitality shown by the hosts, the Magnetics Society of Japan, certainly justified future plans to regularly take the conference around the world every third year. The conference successfully reflected the IEEE Magnetics Society’s interests in all aspects of magnetic device design: the first evening’s tutorials alone spanned modelling in magnetic recording, manipulation of magnetic memory by spin transfer, and new horizons in biomagnetism.
Big business played a part in the conference with the plenary lecture and MRAM Symposium. Although not strongly linked to magnetism, the plenary lecture, given by Mr. Kiyoshi Nakanishi, introduced us to some of the latest ideas on minimizing the environmental impact of automobiles, and suggested that we should be mindful of the environmental impact of our designs through energy efficiency etc. The MRAM Symposium, on the other hand, was highly relevant to elements of our research in the area of spintronicsand presented the contrasting views on progress in the field from four major global contributors: Freescale, NVE, IBM and Toshiba. A Freescale representative, Saied Tehrani, gave an instructive introduction detailing the structure of the advanced magnetic tunnel junctions that have led to the creation of 4Mb toggle devices and discussed their performance, reliability, and scalability. The NVE representative gave insights into write methods, and IBM used their presentation to demonstrate the abilities of their 16Mb asynchronous SRAM, 3-level MRAM adder. The closing talk of the symposium, presented by Hiroaki Yoda of Toshiba, gave an entertaining overview of the problems scientists face trying to satisfy the requirements of both consumers and production. He also showed, with the aid of asteroid curves, how researchers at Toshiba are overcoming some of the major difficulties associated with writing and fabrication.
The most interesting part of the conference in terms of my research was the technical program, some of the highlights of which included patterned magnetic elements, novel materials, and growth techniques, not to mention the symposium on spin electronics technology. In the area of patterned magnetic elements nanoscale structures created by e-beam lithography of magnetic materials such as permalloy (NiFe) including bars (R. Dittrich et al. from Sheffield) and arrays of packman shaped dots (H. Hu et al. from Arizona) demonstrated the principals of domain wall nucleation with a view to their future development as storage elements. Also related to this form of fabrication, other groups described patterning innovatively shaped wires to form domain wall traps (S. McVitie et al. from Glasgow), andcontrol nucleation and current induced switching (M. Laufenburg et al. from Konstanz) which illustrated the potential for designer domain wall movement which could lead to magnetic circuitry.
In the areas of novel growth techniques and new materials, exciting new advances are being made in half-metallic and Heusler materials, which should combine TC above room temperature with 100% spin polarisation at the Fermi level -- thus providing new avenues for spintronic applications (e.g. X.Y. Dong et al. from Minnesota and Y. X. Lu et al. from York). These advances were further showcased in the spin electronics symposium, which gave a useful and insightful view of some of the challenges in this area .World leaders in the field discussed research into the difficulties posed by integrating magnetic and semiconductor systems using different material systems. The talksoncludedwith a theoretical study of what this exciting area might accomplish if high efficiency, room temperature examples of devices such as the spin FET could be realised (M. Tanaka and S. Sugahara from Tokyo).
Perhaps the most rewarding aspects of the technical program were the opportunity to see the abilities of measurement and growth techniques not available at our own institution and to build links with others in related fields which we hope to continue in the future.
Students from University of York, UK, visiting Nagoya Castle before the start of the conference. From left Yongxiong Lu, Jill Claydon, Mark Beal, Sam Chadwick and Gonzalo Vallejo Fernández.
It was a pleasure to discover that attending INTERMAG 2005, apart from a full-time business trip, was a charming experience. At the end of every day the inevitable tiredness was accompanied with a strong feeling of having been rewarded with new knowledge and experience. The conference left me with state-of-the-art technical information on my research area, improved communication skills, fresh contacts, and brand new ideas.
The 5th Int. Symposium on Hysteresis and Micromagnetic Modeling was held in Budapest, Hungary, 30. May - 1. June, 2005. The 5th International Symposium on Hysteresis and Micromagnetics Modeling (HMM2005) was dedicated to the 100 years anniversary of birth of F. Preisach, famous for the hysteresis model named after him. The conference was organized by the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, the Research Institute for Technical Physics and Materials Science, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Pollak Mihaly College of Engineering, University of Pecs. The conference was held in the historical building of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, in the center of Budapest, along the embankment of the Danube with a splendid view of the Buda castle.