Date of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Supriyo Datta

Committee Chair

Supriyo Datta

Committee Member 1

David B. Janes

Committee Member 2

Joerg Appenzeller

Committee Member 3

Mark S. Lundstrom


There has been enormous progress in the last two decades, effectively combining spintronics and magnetics into a powerful force that is shaping the field of memory devices. New materials and phenomena continue to be discovered at an impressive rate, providing an ever-increasing set of building blocks that could be exploited in designing transistor-like functional devices of the future. The objective of this thesis is to provide a quantitative foundation for this building block approach, so that new discoveries can be integrated into functional device concepts, quickly analyzed and critically evaluated. Through careful benchmarking against available theory and experiments we establish a set of elemental modules representing diverse materials and phenomena. These elemental modules can be integrated seamlessly to model composite devices involving both spintronic and nanomagnetic phenomena, even when subtle quantum mechanical properties of spin are involved. We envision the library of modules to evolve both by incorporating new modules and by improving existing modules as the field progresses. The primary contribution of this thesis is to establish the ground rules or protocols for a modular approach that can build a lasting bridge between materials scientists and circuit designers in the field of spintronics and nanomagnetics.