Casey Kristin Frye
Feb 29, 2012

An electrical switch for magnetic current

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics in Halle can now change the magnetic transport properties of a material sandwich consisting of a ferroelectric layer between two ferromagnetic materials via a short electric pulse. With the help of the new switching mechanism, information can be placed in four instead of just two states of a storage point, consequently increasing storage density. Scientists say they assume that an electric pulse only influences the electric transport properties in this material sandwich. This type of electronics should be particularly efficient at processing data, as it does not just utilize the electrons’ charge, but also their spin, which could be regarded as their own spin momentum. This new mechanism will make it possible to switch data storage in the future and may prove useful in spintronic technology.