Giant Spin Hall Effect and Spin-Transfer-Torque Induced Switching in W/CoFeB/MgO with Perpendicular Magnetic Anisotropy

­Giant Spin Hall Effect in Beta-Tungsten


Our invention uses a compound that mimics a natural peptide or protein, called a peptidomimetic compound, to treat neuronal injury. Administered prophylactically as soon as possible after injury, the compound is particularly effective in the case of stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and spinal cord injury. It may also aid treatment or prevention of the pathologic metabolic cascades associated with stroke and TBI, as well as retinal damage from glaucoma. The compound also has potential as a treatment for macular degeneration.

 Market Opportunity

While working in the fields of nanoscale magnetism and spintronics—the study of the intrinsic spin of the electron as well as its magnetism—Xiao developed better and more reliable fabrication processes that have allowed him to create excellent magnetic nanostructures. Within these novel magnetic systems, he has explored their properties of magnetoresistance (MR) as well as SHE and GSHE. His research has led to a more comprehensive understanding of properties of nanoscale magnetic systems.   

Patients with Nanoscale spintronics is crucial to the next phase of semiconductor development, and therefore very important to the future competitiveness of the United States in that industry and in science and technology overall. The new systems that Xiao has designed often display physical properties that defy interpretations using traditional theoretical understanding, and therefore demonstrates new pathways to better understanding of the advanced physics involved in spintronics and to improving fabrication processes. His research benefits high-tech industries, helping them to bypass roadblocks that stand between them and building smaller, thinner, faster, and cost-effective devices. He is dedicated to inventing next-generation electronic and spintronic devices.

Innovation and Meaningful Advantages

Xiao’s invention outlines how to use beta-tungsten in structures with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy, or PMA. The more common form of tungsten, alpha-tungsten, is compatible with modern semiconductor fabrication technology and is widely used in applications such as very-large-scale-integration (VLSI) circuits. Previously, it had not been possible to create thin films of beta-tungsten that featured PMA, which is necessary for the material to obtain high performance when used in magnetic random access memory and spin-logic devices. 

Xiao’s method can create beta-tungsten thin films that display PMA, and he achieves this without the common practice of inserting a hafnium layer in the device, which can lower the effective spin Hall angle and increase fabrication complexity. The ability to create these thin films of varying thickness will allow researchers to explore the potential of beta-tungsten, which to this point has been difficult to stabilize and study.

Collaboration Opportunity

We seek partners interested in licensing this innovative technology.

Principal Investigator

Gang Xiao, PhD

Professor of Physics and Engineering

Brown University

Brown Tech ID #2322

PI Website

IP Information

2016-07-28 WO2016069547A2; published.



Brian Demers

Director of Business Development

Physical & Computational Sciences


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Brown Technology Innovations
350 Eddy Street - Box 1949
Providence, RI 02903
Gang Xiao
Qiang Hao
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