A magnetoelectric multiferroic material has been made that potentially means faster, lower power memory modules providing consumers with quick-booting machines, larger storage space for mobile devices, and lower power consumption, so extending battery life.
The material, developed by researchers at Cornell University, was constructed from atomically precise films of hexagonal lutetium iron oxide (LuFeO3), in layers of atoms the magnetic orientation of which can be flipped in direction alternately, by means of electrical currents.
The ability to change the magnetic properties of the atomic layers allows for permanent storage of binary data. The advantage of using magnetic orientation for data storage is that the memory is non-volatile and will retain its information even without power. Furthermore, the physical size of the memory arrangement could lead to considerably higher density of data storage, the University suggested.