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Computers, tablets, pen drives and many other electronic devices are powered by non-volatile memories. The market for MRAM is expected to expand considerably in the decade to come.

MRAMs based on spintronic mechanisms can offer faster operations, lower power consumption and long retention time, with potential applications in Wearable devices, automotive industry, and the internet.

Graphene and other 2D materials, which are as thin as a single atomic layer, may be disruptive. Their peculiar and remarkable characteristics can provide solutions to current technological challenges and performance limitations that prevent further efficient deployment of MRAMs.

The expected enhancement and new opportunities that can arise from the introduction of 2D materials into spin-based memory technologies are presented in a perspective article. An overview of the state of the art of the field and of the current challenges being faced in the field is provided by this work. The co-integration of 2D materials in these technologies gives a panoramic of the improvements already achieved as well as a prospect of the many advances that further research can produce. There is a possible timetable for progress during the next decade.

The fundamental properties of 2D materials such as atomically smooth interface, reduced material intermixing, crystal are discussed in the paper. These are key enabling low-power technologies and are expected to spread over large markets from embedded memories to the internet of things.

The research was coordinated by a group of people. It was carried out by a collaboration of various members of the Graphene Flagship project.

Prof. Jari Kin states that it is impressive to see the scientific results achieved by the spintronics work package and the technology activities carried out in the Imec environment. There are still challenges to be overcome to fully deploy the potential of 2D materials in real-life applications.

"Funding efforts by the European Commission to support the Graphene Flagship activities could position Europe at the forefront of innovation spintronic technologies in a decade timescale," says Prof.

More information: Hyunsoo Yang et al, Two-dimensional materials prospects for non-volatile spintronic memories, Nature (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41586-022-04768-0 Journal information: Nature