Researchers from the NIST were granted a patent for a device that combines a spin valve with a memristor (a device that is the basis of next-generation RRAM memory devices). The device can be used to turn on and off a spin channel.
The researchers say that their patented device may be a fundamental building-block in future spintronic devices as it combines the non-volatile memory in memristors with the technology of a spin valve. The intention is simple and can be used in several ways - as an on/off switch for spin currents, as an interconnect between different spintronic components and as an interface between magnetic and electronic features.
The researchers further say that their device is much more efficient as the spin current required the switch the device is much lower than in regular spin valves."