Researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, in collaboration with researchers from Germany and the Netherlands have developed a new memory technology they call optically-assisted MRAM which is based on changing the spin state via THz pulses.

The researchers say that the new technique is extremely efficient (the power required to switch a "bit" will be a thousand times smaller compared to current MRAM devices) and fast.

The researchers use picosecond-long pulses (3 picoseconds = one light oscillation cycle) on a specially developed structure comprised from micrometer-sized gold antennas deposited on a thulium orthoferrite sample. The researcher admit that the material is excellent for fundamental research, but it may be too early to tell whether it could be used in the future for commercial applications.

The researchers tell us that they re trying to raise funds now to start fundamental studies of this new optically-assisted MRAM.

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