Researchers in the UK explore 2D hBN as a material for spin valves and MTJs

Researchers from the UK's Manchester University have explored opportunities presented by hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) as a prototypical high-quality two-dimensional insulator that can be used both as a barrier in MTJs and as for spin injection in lateral spin valves.

The research revealed the effect of point defects inevitably present in mechanically exfoliated hBN on the tunnel magnetoresistance of Co-hBN-NiFe MTJs. In particular, the researchers observe a marked enhancement of the magnetoresistance of the junction at well-defined bias voltages, indicating resonant tunneling through magnetic or 'spin-polarized' defect states.

Researchers report on the room temperature multiferroic behavior of Bismuth Iron Manganite thin films

Researchers of the NanoBioMedical center at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan- Poland, in collaboration with the University of Barcelona in Spain, have recently reported on the room temperature multiferroic behavior of Bismuth Iron Manganite (Bi(Fe0.5Mn0.5)O3) thin films, with a thickness below 40nm.

Multiferroic materials are promising for electronics due to the possibility of affecting their magnetic properties by electric means. In their article the team has not only shown the interdependence of both magnetic and electric properties at room temperature but has also shown the exceptional low magnetic damping of this material, making it one of the only known ferromagnetic and ferroelectric multiferroic with low damping.

Researchers observe a square lattice of merons and antimerons in a thin film helical magnet

Researchers from the RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science have managed for the first time to observe a square lattice of merons and antimerons - tiny magnetic vortices and antivortices. The magnetic merons (and antimerons) were formed in a thin plate of the helical magnet Co8Zn9Mn3.

The researchers were also able to induce a transformation between the square lattice of merons-antimerons and a hexagonal lattice of skyrmions, by finely varying a magnetic field applied perpendicularly to the thin film material.

MIT and BNL researchers demonstrate reversible “hydriding” of a heavy metal to electrically control magnetism

Researchers from MIT and the DoE Brookhaven National Laboratory designed a way to use hydrogen ions, drawn from airborne water molecules at room temperature, to electrically control magnetism in a thin magnetic film.

Water molecules - hydrogens ions, magnetic field switch image

The thin-film was made from cobalt, palladium and gadolinium oxide on a platinum base - and gold contacts. The hydrogen ions are used for reversible magneto-ionic switching in the thin film. This is the first time that scientists have demonstrated reversible “hydriding” of a heavy metal.

Intel's new MESO spintronics device architecture offers dramatic improvements over current CMOS devices

Researchers from Intel and the University of California in Berkeley developed a new scalable spintronics logic deice, which they magneto-electric spin-orbit (MESO) logic device that offers dramatic improvement over current CMOS technology.

MESO architecture, Intel & UCB

Intel says that MESO based logic, compared to CMOS, will offer a superior switching energy (by a factor of 10 to 30), lower switching voltage (by a factor of 5), an enhanced logic density (by a factor of 5) and ultra low standby power (due to the non-volatility of the spin-based device).