Researchers at the IPCMS (Strasbourg), the Institut Jean Lamour (Nancy) and Synchrotron SOLEIL have achieved a worldwide milestone in the study of the physical processes that underscore the operation of random-access magnetic memories (STT-MRAM) toward next-generation computing.
They managed to mesure the electrical conduction of a magnetic memory cell in operation while exposing it to synchrotron radiation. This first-of-a-kind operando measurement revealed the impact that structural inhomogeneites within the device and its interfaces, down to the Fe-O bond, have on the device’s spintronic operation and performance.
These results, which are published in Advanced Materials, open many opportunities to perform both fundamental and applied research on a wide range of devices, from MOS transistors to photovoltaic cells and batteries. Using this new technique, large research instruments such as synchrotrons can thus enable industrial companies to better understand how their devices operate, and accelerate the R&D process.
This study was financed in part by ANR Spinapse and the Région Grand-Est. The final measurement stage was undertaken at Synchrotron SOLEIL on beamline DEIMOS.