Mihai Miron, junior CNRS scientist working at SPINTEC, was awarded the yearly junior prize of IMT (Institut Mines-Télécom) – French Academy of Sciences. This prize is meant as a recognition for a major contribution to innovation in one of these fields: sciences and technology of numerical revolution in industry, science and technology of energy transition, environmental engineering.
In the global contact of information technology, playing a key role however associated with significant energy consumption, a promising way to improve the energy efficiency and performance is the integration of non-volatile random access memories. Spin Transfer Torque Magnetic Random Access Memory (STT-MRAM) has been identified by the ITRS as the most credible candidate. Ioan-Mihai MIRON, from the team Spin orbitronics, has discovered a new physical phenomenon allowing to switch the magnetization by means of in-plane electric current. Contrasting with STT where electric current transfers spin angular momentum from an adjacent ferromagnet, he showed that it is possible to reverse the magnetization by transferring angular momentum directly from the crystal lattice. The Spin-Orbit Torque (SOT) only occurs in magnetic materials that lack structural inversion symmetry and that have strong spin orbit coupling.