Spintronics Memory

Researchers announce a breakthrough in pinning domain wall propagation

Researchers from Sultan Qaboos University in Oman, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz in Germany and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have experimentally demonstrated a breakthrough in one of the major problems blocking the adoption of magnetic domain wall memory.

When recording each fresh bit of information onto a racetrack, there is considerable uncertainty about where each magnetic domain starts and ends, and an incorrectly-written bit can easily lead to the corruption of bits. The team, led by Professor Rachid Sbiaa of Sultan Qaboos University, devised a method to overcome this difficulty by using a staggered nanowire (see figure below).

Researchers develop a 200Mhz spintronics-based microcontroller unit

Researchers from Japan's Tohoku University have developed a nonvolatile microcontroller unit (MCU) which achieves both high performance and ultra-low power by utilizing spintronics-based VLSI design technology and STT-MRAM memory.

Spintronics 200Mhz MCU (Tohoku University) photo
The researchers used several new techniques to create an efficient and fast device. Each module's power supply is controlled independently, which eliminates wasteful power consumption, while a memory controller and a reconfigurable accelerator module are used to relax data transfer bottlenecks. These new techniques enabled the researchers to achieve ultra-lower power consumptioN (47.14 uW) at 200Mhz.

EU researchers fabricated graphene-based spintronics devices that utilize both electron charge and spin at room temperature

EU's Graphene Flagship project researchers fabricated graphene-based spintronics devices that utilize both electron charge and spin at room temperature.

The researchers demonstrated the spin’s feasibility for bridging distances of up to several micrometres - which they say could open the door to single-chip devices that integrate logic and memory.

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.

The US NIST to establish a $10 million spintronics material research facility in Minnesota

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and its partners in the US Nanoelectronic Computing Research (nCORE) consortium have awarded $10.3 million over four years to establish a spintronics research center in Mineesota.

The Center for Spintronic Materials in Advanced Information Technologies (SMART) will be led by and housed at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and will include researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Pennsylvania State University, Georgetown University and the University of Maryland.

BiSb films feature a colossal spin hall effect and high electrical conductivity

Researchers from the Tokyo Institute of Technology have developed a new thin film material made from bismuth-antimony (BiSb) that is a topological insulator that simultaneously achieves a colossal spin Hall effect and high electrical conductivity.

This material could be used as the basis of spin-orbit torque MRAM (SOT-MRAM). SOT-MRAM SOT-MRAM can overcome the limitation of spin-transfer torque in MRAM memories - and provide a much faster, denser and much more efficient memory technology. Up until now, though, no suitable material that features both high electrical conductivity and a high spin hall effect was developed.

Researchers find multi-layered Co/Ni films highly desirable materials for effective spin transfer torque

Researchers from the University of Lorraine in France report that following a comprehensive characterization of multilayers of cobalt (Co) and nickel (Ni), the material holds great promise for memory applications based on spin transfer torque (STT-MRAM).

Multi layered cobalt and nickel films for spintronics

It was already shown before that Co/Ni multilayers have very good properties for spintronics applications, but up until now it wasn't clear if the films have a sufficiently large intrinsic spin polarization, which is necessary to create and maintain spin-polarized currents in spintronic devices. It was now shown that the films have a spin polarization of about 90% - which is similar to the best spintronic materials.

Researchers from Mainz University demonstrate the basic principles of ultra-fast and stable memory based on Mn2Au antiferromagnets

Researchers from Mainz University demonstrate the basic principles of ultra-fast and stable memory based on the antiferromagnet Mn2Au. Antiferromagnetic materials are challenging to manipulate and to implement a read-out process (of the Neel vector orientation on).

Crystal structure of Mn2Au with antiferromagnetically ordered magnetic moments.

Up until now, researchers were only able to use a single antiferromagnetic material - copper manganese arsenide (CuMnAs), but this material had several disadvantages. The new compound, manganese and gold (Mn2Au) offers for example ten times larger magnetoresistance and other important advantages including its non-toxic composition and the fact that it can be used even at higher temperatures.

Researchers discover a metallic antiferromagnet with a large magneto-optic Kerr effect

Researchers from the NIST in the US and the University of Tokyo have discovered a metallic antiferromagnet (Mn3Sn) that exhibits a large magneto-optic Kerr (MOKE) effect, despite a vanishingly small net magnetization at room temperature.

MOKE measurements in non-collinear antiferromagnets

Compared to ferromagnetic materials, metallic antiferromagnets allow for faster dynamics and more densely packed spintronic devices due to the weak interactions between antiferromagnetic cells. The researchers believe that such materials hold promise for future antiferromagnetic spintronic devices, where the magnetic state could transduced optically and switched either optically or by applying current.