Researchers from MIT and the Brookhaven National Laboratory have demonstrated how the magnetic properties of thin-film materials can be controlled be using electrically-controlled hydrogen ions.

Hydrogen ions controlled by an electric voltage change the magnetic properties of an adjacent magnetic layer photo

The researchers say that this new mechanism is much faster and has many advantages over the current method using larger oxygen ions.The researchers have also demonstrated that the process produces no degradation of the material after more than 2,000 cycles. As the hydrogen ions are smaller, they can easily pass through metal layers, which allows to control properties of layers deep in a device that couldn't be controlled in any other way.