Computational Oxide Spintronics

Location : Cranage Hall, Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, United Kingdom
May 5, 2012 – May 10, 2012

A broad variety of physical properties (ranging from magnetism to ferroelectricity, from multiferroicity to superconductivity) make transition-metal oxides (TMO) a quite unique class in modern materials science, where a rich and exciting fundamental physics is nicely joined to a huge potential for technological spintronic applications whose harvesting relies on fundamental progress on theoretical physics, computational methodology and tools. Moreover, the many competing energy scales in TMO make their response to external stimuli (electric and magnetic fields, pressure, strain, doping, …) a vast playground for colossal cross-coupled effects (i.e. magnetoresistance, magnetoelectricity, piezoelectricity) to emerge and at the same time a challenge for a computational description. Finally, novel TMO functionalities have recently been shown to be induced or tuned or switched by the formation of heterostructures or at the nanoscale.

A consensus is therefore emerging: transition metal oxides will constitute basic materials for a novel generation of (electrically-controlled) spintronic devices. Understanding and exploiting their properties is therefore one of the key challenges in current computational material science.

Complexity in functional oxides poses a set of challenges from the modeling point of view, calling for an accurate treatment of correlated 3d- or 4f-electrons and excited states as well as for a careful description of the delicate coupling between electronic (spin, charge, orbital) degrees of freedom to structural distortions and crystal symmetries. Indeed, what is required is an arsenal of computational tools, ranging from methods able to study complex structures, over various degrees of correlation phenomena, spectroscopy, functional aspects, interfaces, defects and their mobility, defects at interfaces, coupling of electric (magnetic) fields to magnetic (electric) polarization and to non-equilibrium quantum transport. Moreover, the manipulation of spin-transport through junctions based on oxides could be further developed as well as transport properties controlled by spin-orbit .

While many groups are actively involved in research focused on oxides in Europe, USA and Asia, there are few opportunities for workshops focused on “oxides modeling”. We therefore aim at filling this gap by organizing a research conference, where discussions (coordinated by world-wide renowned “discussion leaders”) should be very lively and where presentations should not only consist of general talks targeted to a broad audience, but should also illustrate advanced computational methodologies or progresses in implementations, including technical aspects. We plan to bring together different communities: density functional theorists (with branches devoted to either code developments or materials science, along with their combination), many-body physicists, experts on theory of magnetism, of ferroelectricity, of transport, etc. A few world-leading scientists (experimentalists and theorists) will be invited to give plenary talks.


Among others, topics of specific interest  will be:

  • Multiferroics and magnetoelectrics
  • DMFT + electronic correlation
  • Oxides-based interfaces
  • Beyond-LDA functionals
  • Topological insulators and Berry phases
  • Superconductivity and Interplay with magnetism
  • Defects in oxides and high-k materials
  • Oxides tunnel junctions: transport and magnetoelectric effects 
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