RIKEN researchers have developed a new lateral spin-valve with an improved interface properties - which significantly improves the efficiency of the spin injection and the spin valve voltage. In lateral spin valves, the spin transport occurs parallel to the layers. These valves are useful because they enable the generation of pure spin currents.

The researchers used NiFe/MgO/Ag junctions (MgO sandwiched between ferromagnetic electrodes of NiFe and silver). These junctions were annealed in nitrogen and hydrogen, which improves the spin injection efficiency and reduces the junction resistance.