Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Unexpected effect could lead to lower-power memory, computing devices

This is an illustration of an unexpected phenomenon known as zero field switching (ZFS) that could lead to smaller, lower-power memory and computing devices than presently possible. The image shows a layering of platinum (Pt), tungsten (W), and a cobalt-iron-boron magnet (CoFeB) sandwiched at the ends by gold (Au) electrodes on a silicon (Si) surface. The gray arrows depict the overall direction of electric current injected into the structure at the back of the gold (Au) contact and coming out the front gold contact pad. The CoFeB layer is a nanometer-thick magnet that stores a bit of data. A "1" corresponds to the CoFeB magnetization pointing up (up arrow), and a "0" represents the magnetization pointing down (down arrow).
CREDIT
Gopman/NIST
This is an illustration of an unexpected phenomenon known as zero field switching (ZFS) that could lead to smaller, lower-power memory and computing devices than presently possible. The image shows a layering of platinum (Pt), tungsten (W), and a cobalt-iron-boron magnet (CoFeB) sandwiched at the ends by gold (Au) electrodes on a silicon (Si) surface. The gray arrows depict the overall direction of electric current injected into the structure at the back of the gold (Au) contact and coming out the front gold contact pad. The CoFeB layer is a nanometer-thick magnet that stores a bit of data. A "1" corresponds to the CoFeB magnetization pointing up (up arrow), and a "0" represents the magnetization pointing down (down arrow). CREDIT Gopman/NIST

Abstract:
An unexpected phenomenon known as zero field switching (ZFS) could lead to smaller, lower-power memory and computing devices than presently possible. The image shows a layering of platinum (Pt), tungsten (W), and a cobalt-iron-boron magnet (CoFeB) sandwiched at the ends by gold (Au) electrodes on a silicon (Si) surface. The gray arrows depict the overall direction of electric current injected into the structure at the back of the gold (Au) contact and coming out the front gold contact pad.

Unexpected effect could lead to lower-power memory, computing devices

Gaithersburg, MD | Posted on March 17th, 2018

The CoFeB layer is a nanometer-thick magnet that stores a bit of data. A "1" corresponds to the CoFeB magnetization pointing up (up arrow), and a "0" represents the magnetization pointing down (down arrow). The "0" or "1" can be read both electrically and optically, as the magnetization changes the reflectivity of light shining on the material through another phenomenon known as the magneto-optical Kerr effect (MOKE).

In the device, electric current can flip the data state between 0 and 1. Previous devices of this type have also required a magnetic field or other more complex measures to change the material's magnetization. Those earlier devices are not very useful for building stable, non-volatile memory devices.

A breakthrough occurred in a research collaboration between The Johns Hopkins University and NIST. The team discovered that they could flip the CoFeB magnetization in a stable fashion between the 0 and 1 states by sending only electric current through the Pt and W metal layers adjacent to the CoFeB nanomagnet. They did not need a magnetic field. This ZFS (zero-field switching) effect was a surprise and had not been theoretically predicted.

In their work, the researchers created a special kind of electric current known as a "spin" current. The electrons that carry electric current possess a property known as spin which can be imagined as a bar magnet pointing in a specific direction through the electron. Increasingly exploited in the emerging field known as "spintronics," spin current is simply electric current in which the spins of the electrons are pointing in the same direction. As an electron moves through the material, the interaction between its spin and its motion (called a spin-orbit torque, SOT) creates a spin current where electrons with one spin state move perpendicular to the current in one direction and electrons with the opposite spin state move in the opposite direction. The resulting spins that have moved adjacent to the CoFeB magnetic layer exert a torque on that layer, causing its magnetization to be flipped. Without the spin current the CoFeB magnetization is stable against any fluctuations in current and temperature. This unexpected ZFS effect poses new questions to theorists about the underlying mechanism of the observed SOT-induced switching phenomenon.

Details of the spin-orbit torque are illustrated in the diagram. The purple arrows show the spins of the electrons in each layer. The blue curved arrow shows the direction in which spins of that type are being diverted. (For example, in the W layer, electrons with spin to the left in the x-y plane are diverted to move upward toward the CoFeB and the electron spins to the right are diverted to move down toward the Pt.) Note the electron spins in the Pt with spin to the right (in the x-y plane), however, are diverted to move upward toward the W and the electron spins with spin to the left are diverted to move downward toward the Si. This is opposite to the direction the electron spins in the W are moving, and this is due to differences in the SOT experienced by electrons moving through Pt and those moving through W. In fact, it is this difference in the way the electrons move through each of these two conductors that may be important to enabling the unusual ZFS effect.

The research team, including NIST scientists Daniel Gopman, Robert Shull, and NIST guest researcher Yury Kabanov, and The Johns Hopkins University researchers Qinli Ma, Yufan Li and Professor Chia-Ling Chien, report their findings today in Physical Review Letters.

Ongoing investigations by the researchers seek to identify other prospective materials that enable zero-field-switching of a single perpendicular nanomagnet, as well as determining how the ZFS behavior changes for nanomagnets possessing smaller lateral sizes and developing the theoretical foundation for this unexpected switching phenomenon.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Ben Stein

301-975-2763

Copyright © National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

RELATED JOURNAL ARTICLE:

Related News Press

News and information

Birth of a hybrid: High-temperature synthesis under pressure helps to combine properties of metals and ceramics December 15th, 2018

The role of lipid nanoparticles and its surface modification in reaching the brain: This article by Dr. Manoli Igartua et al. is published in Current Drug Delivery, Volume 15, Issue 9, 2018 December 14th, 2018

Researchers use jiggly Jell-O to make powerful new hydrogen fuel catalyst: The inexpensive new material can split water just as efficiently as costly platinum December 14th, 2018

IMDEA Nanociencia and Universidad Autónoma de Madrid researchers have demonstrated that graphene deposited on a metal surface promotes an unusual chemical reaction that would hardly take place under noncatalyzed conditions. December 14th, 2018

Collagen nanofibrils in mammalian tissues get stronger with exercise December 14th, 2018

Magnetism

IMDEA Nanociencia and Universidad Autónoma de Madrid researchers have demonstrated that graphene deposited on a metal surface promotes an unusual chemical reaction that would hardly take place under noncatalyzed conditions. December 14th, 2018

Insights into magnetic bacteria may guide research into medical nanorobots December 12th, 2018

A new 'spin' on kagome lattices: Team's findings shed new light on the presence of spin-orbit coupling and topological spin textures in kagome lattices December 9th, 2018

2-D magnetism: Atom-thick platforms for energy, information and computing research: Scientists say the tiny 'spins' of electrons show potential to one day support next-generation innovations in many fields October 31st, 2018

Laboratories

Scientists produce 3D chemical maps of single bacteria: Researchers at NSLS-II used ultrabright x-rays to generate 3-D nanoscale maps of a single bacteria's chemical composition with unparalleled spatial resolution November 16th, 2018

Unlocking the Secrets of Metal-Insulator Transitions: X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy at NSLS-II's CSX beamline used to understand electrical conductivity transitions in magnetite November 8th, 2018

Nanotech Artisans Sculpt with DNA November 5th, 2018

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Researchers use jiggly Jell-O to make powerful new hydrogen fuel catalyst: The inexpensive new material can split water just as efficiently as costly platinum December 14th, 2018

IMDEA Nanociencia and Universidad Autónoma de Madrid researchers have demonstrated that graphene deposited on a metal surface promotes an unusual chemical reaction that would hardly take place under noncatalyzed conditions. December 14th, 2018

Collagen nanofibrils in mammalian tissues get stronger with exercise December 14th, 2018

Oxford Instruments participates in the launch of the European Quantum Technology Flagship Programme ‘QMiCS’ December 13th, 2018

Possible Futures

Birth of a hybrid: High-temperature synthesis under pressure helps to combine properties of metals and ceramics December 15th, 2018

Vitamin E TPGS emulsified vinorelbine bitartrate loaded solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN): This article by Dr. Sanjay Singh et al. is published in Current Drug Delivery, Volume 15 , Issue 8 , 2018 December 14th, 2018

Researchers use jiggly Jell-O to make powerful new hydrogen fuel catalyst: The inexpensive new material can split water just as efficiently as costly platinum December 14th, 2018

IMDEA Nanociencia and Universidad Autónoma de Madrid researchers have demonstrated that graphene deposited on a metal surface promotes an unusual chemical reaction that would hardly take place under noncatalyzed conditions. December 14th, 2018

Chip Technology

Oxford Instruments participates in the launch of the European Quantum Technology Flagship Programme ‘QMiCS’ December 13th, 2018

A new 'spin' on kagome lattices: Team's findings shed new light on the presence of spin-orbit coupling and topological spin textures in kagome lattices December 9th, 2018

Harnessing the power of 'spin orbit' coupling in silicon: Scaling up quantum computation December 7th, 2018

CEA-Leti’s RRAM-based TCAM Circuits Meet Requirements of Multicore Neuromorphic Processors December 5th, 2018

Memory Technology

A new 'spin' on kagome lattices: Team's findings shed new light on the presence of spin-orbit coupling and topological spin textures in kagome lattices December 9th, 2018

CEA-Leti’s RRAM-based TCAM Circuits Meet Requirements of Multicore Neuromorphic Processors December 5th, 2018

GaN Rising: UC Santa Barbara electrical and computer engineering professor Umesh Mishra to deliver 63rd Annual Faculty Research Lecture November 16th, 2018

IEDM - CEA-Leti Will Present 11 Papers and Host Workshop on Disruptive Technologies for Data Management November 7th, 2018

Nanoelectronics

2-D magnetism: Atom-thick platforms for energy, information and computing research: Scientists say the tiny 'spins' of electrons show potential to one day support next-generation innovations in many fields October 31st, 2018

Machine learning helps improving photonic applications September 28th, 2018

How a tetrahedral substance can be more symmetrical than a spherical atom: A new type of symmetry September 14th, 2018

Laser sintering optimized for printed electronics: New study sheds (laser) light on the best means of laying down thin-film circuitry September 13th, 2018

Discoveries

Birth of a hybrid: High-temperature synthesis under pressure helps to combine properties of metals and ceramics December 15th, 2018

A summary of electrospun nanofibers as drug delivery system: This article by Dr. José Manuel Cornejo Bravo et al. is published in Current Drug Delivery, Volume 15 , Issue 10 , 2018 December 14th, 2018

Vitamin E TPGS emulsified vinorelbine bitartrate loaded solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN): This article by Dr. Sanjay Singh et al. is published in Current Drug Delivery, Volume 15 , Issue 8 , 2018 December 14th, 2018

Researchers use jiggly Jell-O to make powerful new hydrogen fuel catalyst: The inexpensive new material can split water just as efficiently as costly platinum December 14th, 2018

Announcements

Birth of a hybrid: High-temperature synthesis under pressure helps to combine properties of metals and ceramics December 15th, 2018

The role of lipid nanoparticles and its surface modification in reaching the brain: This article by Dr. Manoli Igartua et al. is published in Current Drug Delivery, Volume 15, Issue 9, 2018 December 14th, 2018

A summary of electrospun nanofibers as drug delivery system: This article by Dr. José Manuel Cornejo Bravo et al. is published in Current Drug Delivery, Volume 15 , Issue 10 , 2018 December 14th, 2018

Vitamin E TPGS emulsified vinorelbine bitartrate loaded solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN): This article by Dr. Sanjay Singh et al. is published in Current Drug Delivery, Volume 15 , Issue 8 , 2018 December 14th, 2018

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Birth of a hybrid: High-temperature synthesis under pressure helps to combine properties of metals and ceramics December 15th, 2018

The role of lipid nanoparticles and its surface modification in reaching the brain: This article by Dr. Manoli Igartua et al. is published in Current Drug Delivery, Volume 15, Issue 9, 2018 December 14th, 2018

Researchers use jiggly Jell-O to make powerful new hydrogen fuel catalyst: The inexpensive new material can split water just as efficiently as costly platinum December 14th, 2018

IMDEA Nanociencia and Universidad Autónoma de Madrid researchers have demonstrated that graphene deposited on a metal surface promotes an unusual chemical reaction that would hardly take place under noncatalyzed conditions. December 14th, 2018

Research partnerships

Researchers use jiggly Jell-O to make powerful new hydrogen fuel catalyst: The inexpensive new material can split water just as efficiently as costly platinum December 14th, 2018

IMDEA Nanociencia and Universidad Autónoma de Madrid researchers have demonstrated that graphene deposited on a metal surface promotes an unusual chemical reaction that would hardly take place under noncatalyzed conditions. December 14th, 2018

Oxford Instruments participates in the launch of the European Quantum Technology Flagship Programme ‘QMiCS’ December 13th, 2018

Three CEA Projects Awarded European Research Council Synergy Grants November 26th, 2018

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project