Researchers are working on mram with precisely controllable electrical conductivity

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Researchers are working on magnetic semiconductor material whose electrical conductivity can be controlled very precisely. They use layers of specific nitrides, which are both magnetic and conductive. The invention is important for universal memory.

The researchers are already working on mram with magnetic tunnel junctions based on rare-earth nitrides or ren’s. These are thin films that grow in vacuum and have both magnetic and semiconducting properties. What’s new is not only that the scientists are growing pure versions of the ren’s, but also that they want to control how the ren’s use electricity.

“Nobody has yet made a magnetic semiconductor where you can actually control the electrical conductivity,” says Ben Ruck of the team. “Our results do provide a way to precisely determine the conductivity, so that you can switch from magnetic to non-magnetic. ” It concerns a team of scientists from the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences at the Victoria University of Wellington.

The invention is an important step in the development of spintronics. Here, the magnetic spin moment of electrons is used to store data in mram cells. Ultimately, this development should lead to universal memory that combines the speed of RAM with properties of flash memory and that retains data regardless of whether it is powered. This in turn offers many advantages over existing memory in terms of speed and consumption.

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