Electronics of the future is expected to incorporate in one entity the manifestations of charge and spin of electrons, thus enabling multifunctional devices which are magnetic, semiconductor as well optically active. One requirement for this is the development of transparent semiconductors with ferromagnetic ordering at far above room temperatures. With the discovery of a new approach to tailor Mn doped ZnO as a material appropriate for the emerging field of spintronics, reported in Nature Materials, Oct 2003 issue, we in Sweden have now the opportunity to actively promote the field. After a few manmade controversies, recent papers in high profile journals confirm beyond any doubt the findings we reported in NM and provide further evidence for the carrier-induced mechanism as the origin of ferromagnetism in this material (e.g: PRL 15 April, 2005, PRL May 13, 2005, JACS March 2005, APL April 2005 issues).
We have now expanded the above study to a whole new class of Cu doped oxides, phosphides and others. About 16 new systems have been already patented. Both theoretically, and from an application point of view a magnetic semiconductor based on ZnO is the most promising candidate for future spintronic and magnetooptic device applications.
While working intensely on new room temperature ferromagnetic semiconductors, we are now also focusing on the fundamental studies of patterned structures of these materials, exploiting ink-jet technology, which are suitable for potential applications: optical, or transport and magnetic. A comprehensive activity both from a theoretical and mostly from an experimental point of view are our intense activities in this field with many patents, and invited talks at international conferences.