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Data at the End of the Tunnel

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digital tunnel


Scientists at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and French research facility CNRS have made advances in the development of tunnel magnetoresistance-based memory.

The researchers have used the compound barium titanate to make the insulator that separates two thin layers of a magnetic material, which reduces the amount of energy needed to produce a strong magnetic field for writing data. The quirky behavior of the memory allows some of the charge carriers to move from one side of the insulator to the other. The two spin states of an electron also enable it to build memory capable of rapid and repeated data writes, and to store data permanently.

The electric field can be used to switch the insulator to influence the electron spins on either side of the magnetic layer, and then control electron tunneling. The same switched state remains when all the current is removed, which would allow PC memory to draw little power and permanently store data.

From Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin
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Abstracts Copyright © 2010 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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