Novel Aspects of Spin-Polarized Transport and Spin Dynamics

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There is a renewed interest to study spin-polarized transport and spin dynamics in various electronic materials. Motivation to examine the spin degrees of freedom (mostly in electrons, but also in holes and nuclei) comes from various sources: ranging from novel applications which are either not feasible or ineffective with conventional electronics, to using the spin-dependent phenomena for exploring fundamental properties of solid-state systems. Taken in a broader context, term spintronics is addressing various aspects of these efforts and stimulating new interactions between different subfields of condensed matter physics. Recent advances in material fabrication made it possible to introduce the nonequilibrium spin in novel class of systems, including ferromagnetic semiconductors, high temperature superconductors, and carbon nanotubes—which leads to a question of how could such a spin be utilized. For this purpose it is important to extend the understanding of spin-polarized transport and spin dynamics to consider inhomogeneous systems, various heterostructures, and the role of interfaces. This article presents some views on novel aspects of spin-polarized transport and spin dynamics (referring also to the topics which were addressed at the conference Spintronics 2001) and suggests possible future research directions.

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