patterning Spin-Wave reconfIgurable Nanodevices for loGics and computing


This is the webpage of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship project "SWING - Patterning Spin-Wave reconfIgurable Nanodevices for loGics and computing" , by Dr. Edoardo Albisetti, funded by the European Commission in the framework of the Horizon 2020 Programme, Project No 705326.


The project is supervised by Prof. Riccardo Bertacco, from the Department of Physics of Politecnico di Milano, and by Prof. Elisa Riedo, from the Nanoscience Initiative of the CUNY Advanced Science Research Center. 


Fridge Magnets. Fridge magnets are made of a ferromagnetic material. What makes a material ferromagnetic is a property of its electrons called spin. Due to the fact that electrons possess a spin, electrons within the material act as tiny magnets. A material is a ferromagnet if these tiny magnets (spins) naturally align in one direction, giving rise to the magnetic force that makes the fridge magnets sticky.

Designing with Spins. What makes magnetic materials extremely interesting is that spins are not fixed and immovable, on the contrary each spin feels the surrounding environment through several complex interactions and reacts by reorienting itself. This means that, by controlling such interactions, it is possible to manipulate the configuration of the spins within the material. Recently, we demonstrated a new amazing way (called tam-SPL) for controlling these interactions. By sweeping an ultra-small “pen” on a magnetic “blackboard”, we are able to write, erase and rewrite the orientation of the spins at will, with a spatial precision thousands of times higher than the width of a human hair. (Press article on the technique, Scientific paper).

Spin waves. In our picture, the ferromagnet is a “sea” of spins interacting with each other. If we throw a “magnetic” stone in this sea, we can generate "ripples" in the orientation of the spins, which propagate within the magnetic material similarly to waves in the water. These waves are called spin-waves, or magnons. The use of spin-waves is envisioned to revolutionize computing, allowing to perform extremely complex calculations in ultra-fast miniaturized computer chips, and to efficiently carry information within integrated magnetic circuits. However, so far, controlling spin-waves with conventional methods has been incredibly challenging.


SWING project aims to design complex magnetic circuits where the propagating spin-waves are confined, controlled and let interact. First, we aim to build a waveguide for spin-waves, by properly designing the spin configuration of the ferromagnet. In such structures, spin-waves will be guided and steered, pretty much like light is guided and steered within optical fibers. Starting from this, we aim to build devices capable of performing basic logic operations by letting multiple spin-waves interact and interfere. Since each spin configuration “written” in the material can be erased and re-written, the functionality of such devices will be fully reconfigurable, on-demand.


Daniela Petti. Politecnico di Milano

Riccardo Bertacco. Politecnico di Milano

Elisa Riedo. New York University (NYU)

Silvia Tacchi. CNR-IOM, Università di Perugia

Marco Madami. CNR-IOM, Università di Perugia

Raffaele Silvani. CNR-IOM, Università di Perugia

Giovanni Carlotti. CNR-IOM, Università di Perugia

Paolo Vavassori. CIC Nanogune

Matteo Pancaldi. CIC Nanogune

Simone Finizio. Paul Scherrer Institute

Sebastian Wintz. Paul Scherrer Institute

Jeorg Raabe. Paul Scherrer Institute

Adam Papp. Pázmány Péter Catholic University

Gyorgy Csaba. Pázmány Péter Catholic University

Wolfgang Porod. Notre Dame

Martin Spieser. SwissLitho

Armin Knoll. IBM Zurich



Our paper on the front cover of Advanced Materials!

March 04, 2020

Our paper appeared as Front Cover article of the March 5th issue of Advanced Materials.

Spin‐waves, propagating perturbations in the spin arrangement of magnetic materials, are promising candidates for low‐power computation and signal processing. In the Cover Article, Edoardo Albisetti, Elisa Riedo, Daniela Petti, and co‐workers demonstrate an optically inspired nanomagnonic platform using nanopatterned spin‐textures for launching spatially shaped wavefronts and generating multi‐beam interference patterns. They show that controlling spin‐waves in synthetic antiferromagnets makes a fundamental step toward optically inspired spin‐wave processing.

New paper on optically-Inspired magnonics on Advanced Materials!

January 15, 2020

In this work, we demonstrate a new methodology for generating and manipulating spin wave wavefronts in nanostructured synthetic antiferromagnets. The paper was published in Jan '20 in the journal Advanced Materials.

Integrated optically inspired wave‐based processing is envisioned to outperform digital architectures in specific tasks, such as image processing and speech recognition. In this view, spin waves represent a promising route due to their nanoscale wavelength in the gigahertz frequency range and rich phenomenology. Here, a versatile, optically inspired platform using spin waves is realized, demonstrating the wavefront engineering, focusing, and robust interference of spin waves with nanoscale wavelength. In particular, magnonic nanoantennas based on tailored spin textures are used for launching spatially shaped coherent wavefronts, diffraction‐limited spin‐wave beams, and generating robust multi‐beam interference patterns, which spatially extend for several times the spin‐wave wavelength. Furthermore, it is shown that intriguing features, such as resilience to back reflection, naturally arise from the spin‐wave nonreciprocity in synthetic antiferromagnets, preserving the high quality of the interference patterns from spurious counterpropagating modes. This work represents a fundamental step toward the realization of nanoscale optically inspired devices based on spin waves.

Paper on synthetic antiferromagnets published on Materials!

January 13, 2020

In this work, we study the magnetic properties of synthetic antiferromagnets (SAF) when heated: understanding how the exchange bias and interlayer coupling are modified upon heating is crucial for a variety of applications enabled by thermally-assisted writing. The paper was published in Jan '20 in the open access journal Materials.

Synthetic antiferromagnets (SAF) are widely used for a plethora of applications among which data storage, computing, and in the emerging field of magnonics. In this framework, controlling the magnetic properties of SAFs via localized thermal treatments represents a promising route for building novel magnonic materials. In this paper, we study via vibration sample magnetometry the temperature dependence of the magnetic properties of sputtered exchange bias SAFs grown via magnetron sputtering varying the ferromagnetic layers and spacer thickness. Interestingly, we observe a strong, reversible modulation of the exchange field, saturation field, and coupling strength upon heating up to 250 °C. These results suggest that exchange bias SAFs represent promising systems for developing novel artificial magnetic nanomaterials via localized thermal treatment.

New paper on Nature Electronics!

January 15, 2019

In our new work, we use thermal nanolithography for fabricating high-performing field effect transistors on 2D materials!! The paper was published in the Jan '19 issue of Nature Electronics, accompanied by a News & Views article.

Two-dimensional semiconductors, such as molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), exhibit a variety of properties that could be useful in the development of novel electronic devices. However, nanopatterning metal electrodes on such atomic layers, which is typically achieved using electron beam lithography, is currently problematic, leading to non-ohmic contacts and high Schottky barriers. Here, we show that thermal scanning probe lithography can be used to pattern metal electrodes with high reproducibility, sub-10-nm resolution, and high throughput (105 μm2 h−1 per single probe). The approach, which offers simultaneous in situ imaging and patterning, does not require a vacuum, high energy, or charged beams, in contrast to electron beam lithography. Using this technique, we pattern metal electrodes in direct contact with monolayer MoS2 for top-gate and back-gate field-effect transistors. These devices exhibit vanishing Schottky barrier heights (around 0 meV), on/off ratios of 1010, no hysteresis, and subthreshold swings as low as 64 mV per decade without using negative capacitors or hetero-stacks.

New paper on the Cover of Applied Physics Letters!!

October 14, 2018

Our work on the stabilization of 0-dimensional topological spin-textures with t-SPL was just published on the Cover of Applied Physics Letters

Also, it is a Feature article, thanks editorial board!

SWING project at Meet Me Tonight in Milan!

September 29, 2018

SWING Project is at the stand of Dipartimento di Fisica at Meet me Tonight in Milan!!

Come visit us and find out what do Fridge magnets and Sea waves have in common!!

Our paper Featured on!

October 11, 2018

Our work on spin-waves published on Nature Communications Physics was Featured on!! Thanks Dr. Jeewandara for the nice article!!

"Nanoscale spin-wave circuits based on engineered reconfigurable spin-textures" by Thamarasee Jeewandara

Partial press release (in Italian):

Le Scienze: "Politecnico di Milano: I processori del futuro sempre più vicini"

Galileonet: "Con le onde di spin a un passo dai processori di domani"

New paper on Communications Physics!!

September 19, 2018

Our work on the realization of nanoscale spin-wave circuits by writing domain-walls via t-SPL has just been pulished by Communications Physics!! Check it out!!

"Nanoscale spin-wave circuits based on engineered reconfigurable spin-textures"

Magnonics is gaining momentum as an emerging technology for information processing. The wave character and Joule heating-free propagation of spin-waves hold promises for highly efficient computing platforms, based on integrated magnonic circuits. The realization of such nanoscale circuitry is crucial, although extremely challenging due to the difficulty of tailoring the nanoscopic magnetic properties with conventional approaches. Here we experimentally realize a nanoscale reconfigurable spin-wave circuitry by using patterned spin-textures. By space and time-resolved scanning transmission X-ray microscopy imaging, we directly visualize the channeling and steering of propagating spin-waves in arbitrarily shaped nanomagnonic waveguides, with no need for external magnetic fields or currents. Furthermore, we demonstrate a prototypic circuit based on two converging nanowaveguides, allowing for the tunable spatial superposition and interference of confined spin-waves modes. This work paves the way to the use of engineered spin-textures as building blocks of spin-wave based computing devices.

Talk at the 9th JEMS conference 2018!

September 05, 2018

I will give a talk about SWING project and spin-waves at the Joint European Magnetic Symposium 2018, in Mainz!

The title of the talk is: "Nanoscale spin-wave circuits based on engineered reconfigurable spintextures"

Hope to see you there!

Beamtime at PSI Swiss Light Source

June 19, 2018

We are about to start our beamtime at the PolLux endstation of the Swiss Light Source in Villigen, Switzerland!

We will study with high spatial and temporal resolution the excitation and propagation of spin-waves in synthetic antiferromagnets!

Seminar PSI Swiss Light Source

March 20, 2018

I will be talking about our experiments about the control of spin-waves with nanopatterned spin-textures at PSI. Thanks to Dr. Simone Finizio for the invitation. The title of the seminar will be: "Designing with spins: towards reconfigurable nano-magnonics based on patterned spin-textures".

Talk at the Future of Nanofabrication for 2D materials

February 21, 2018

I am giving a talk about tam-SPL and controlling spin-waves at the nanoscale at the "Future of Nanofabrication for 2D materials" workshop held in CUNY ASRC. Thanks Prof. Riedo for the invitation.

Press Release

December 01, 2017

Project SWING featured in the press! Below, the partial press release in Italian:

Tom's Hardware


Adn Kronos

Beamtime continuation proposal granted!

November 01, 2017

Our continuation proposal for beamtime at the PolLux beamline at PSI Swiss Light Source was granted! The experiments will be performed in the next months in Villigen, Switzerland.

Invited Talk at WINDS 2017

November 26, 2017

I will give an invited talk about magnetic scanning probe lithography, its applications and SWING project at the 2017 Workshop on Innovative Nanoscale Devices and Systems (WINDS). The workshop will take place in Hawaii, USA, from Nov 26th to Dec 1st 2017. Thanks Prof. Wolfgang Porod for the invitation!

Beamtime at PolLux/PSI

July 27, 2017

Today it is our last day of beamtime at PolLux beamline at Swiss Light Source / Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Switzerland. Thanks to Daniela Petti, Giacomo Sala, Simone Finizio and Sebastian Wintz for the nice time and amazing support!

AIP Advanced Paper highlighted

June 07, 2017

Our invited paper, following the MMM16 conference in New Orleans, was among the highlights of Volume 7, Issue 5 of AIP Advances!

Extra-funding from EU

June 02, 2017

Our beamtime proposal at PSI was selected for received extra-funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under project CALIPSOplus.

Beamtime proposal granted!

May 10, 2017

Our proposal for beamtime at the PolLux beamline at PSI Swiss Light Source was granted! The experiments will be performed in the next months in Villigen, Switzerland.

Talk at the 4th Thermal Probe Workshop

March 29, 2017

I gave a talk entitled Nanopatterning magnetic landscapes via thermally assisted scanning probe lithography at the 4th Thermal Probe Workshop, organized by Swisslitho and IBM Research, in Zurich.

Talk at APS March Meeting 2017

March 13, 2017

I gave a talk entitled Nanopatterned reconfigurable spin-textures for magnonics at the 2017 March Meeting of the American Physical Society in New Orleans.

Talk and visit at IBM Research, Zurich

February 17, 2017

We talked about magnetic nanopatterning and SWING project at IBM Research, Zurich. Thanks Dr. Armin Knoll and Dr. Simon Bonanni for the invitation! 

Watching domain walls shake, at PSI Swiss Light Source

February 13, 2017

We watched tam-SPL magnetic domains and domain walls dynamics with super-high spatial and temporal resolution. By applying an oscillatory magnetic field we excited the motion of a magnetic domain wall. At the same time we watched and recorded its dynamics by flashing it with synchrotron X-Rays!

The experiments were performed at the PolLux beamline at PSI Swiss Light Source, Villigen, Switzerland. Special thanks to Daniela Petti, Simone Finizio and Sebastian Wintz for the help. 

New invited paper in AIP Advances

December 01, 2016

We published an invited paper on tam-SPL for magnonics entitled: Nanopatterning spin-textures: A route to reconfigurable magnonics on AIP Advances. See it here:


Abstract. Magnonics is envisioned to enable highly efficient data transport and processing, by exploiting propagating perturbations in the spin-texture of magnetic materials. Despite the demonstrations of a plethora of proof-of-principle devices, the efficient excitation, transport and manipulation of spin-waves at the nanoscale is still an open challenge. Recently, we demonstrated that the spin-wave excitation and propagation can be controlled by nanopatterning reconfigurable spin-textures in a continuous exchange biased ferromagnetic film. Here, we show that by patterning 90° stripe-shaped magnetic domains, we spatially modulate the spin-wave excitation in a continuous film, and that by applying an external magnetic field we can reversibly “switch-off” the spin-wave excitation. This opens the way to the use of nanopatterned spin-textures, such as domains and domain walls, for exciting and manipulating magnons in reconfigurable nanocircuits.

Invited Talk at MMM 2016

November 03, 2016

I am going to give an invited talk at the 61th Annual Conference on Magnetism and Magnetic Materials (MMM 2016), see you in New Orleans!


November 01, 2016

Project Swing officially starts.


October 11, 2016

We talked about magnetic nanopatterning and SWING project at the Quantum Materials seminar series. The event was hosted by the Nanoscience Initiative of the CUNY Advanced Science Research Center.

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Edoardo is currently working at Politecnico di Milano.

Contact: edoardo.albisetti [at]

Twitter account: @EdoAlbis

Twitter of SWING project: #SWING_H2020

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