A team of researchers from the National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) in Taiwan have discovered that by adding a layer of platinum only a few nanometers thick, one can switch the pinned magnetic moments at MRAM cells at will. This was never achieved before, and can lead to faster and more efficient MRAM devices.

The platinum layer is placed between the two layers of the MRAM device - the upper layer, a freely flipping magnet used for data computation and the bottom layer that consists of a fixed magnet, responsible for data storage. Due to spin-orbit interactions, the electric current drives the collective motion of electron spins first. The spin current then switches the pinned magnetic moment effectively and precisely.