The Magnetic Random Access Memories (MRAM) group develops advanced concepts in this emerging technology. The goal is to realize cells with improved thermal stability, lower power consumption and/or faster switching. Our research covers material stack deposition, nano-fabrication and electrical test evaluation, for applications as standalone memory and non-volatile logic and more recently in neuromorphic computing architectures.

Research directions

Perpendicular Anisotropy Materials

High energy barriers for spin transfer torque (STT) MRAM cells can be achieved with perpendicular anisotropy magnetic tunnel junctions. Solutions for high density MRAM cells to diameters below 20nm require continuous improvements in perpendicular surface anisotropy, while maintaining high TMR properties.

Perpendicular STT MRAM

Evaluation of MRAM concepts requires simulation of expected reversal mechanisms and electrical characterization of individual cells. We aim at understanding dynamics of magnetization reversal and the expected impact of stack modifications to explore application specific optimizations.

Nanofabrication Challenges

Innovation on dense MRAM using pre-patterned substrates, CMOS integration of multifunctional cells and sub-10nm lateral sizes. Tunnel junction nanofabrication in our platform is essential to evaluate MRAM concepts and performance.

Perpendicular Shape Anisotropy

A solution for sub-10nm cell sizes uses high aspect ratios to generate perpendicular shape anisotropy providing scalable retention at the smallest cell sizes. Spin transfer torque switching is possible in these cells, where the reversal dynamics is now under study.

The team

Former members


  • Andrey TIMOPHEEV (2014-2017)
  • Van Dai NGUYEN (2016-2018)
  • J. Ranier Roiz (2015-2016)
  • Nikita Strelkov (2016-2019)


  • Luc TILLIE (2015-2018)
  • Nicolas PERRISSIN (2015-2018)
  • Jyotirmoy CHATTERGEE (2014-2017)
  • Hieu Tan NGUYEN (2013-2016)
  • Antoine Chavent (2013-2015)

Process Engineers

  • Jude GUELFFUCCI (2015-2017)
  • Nathalie LAMARD (2016-2017)
  • Guillaume LAVAITTE (2015-2016)


  • Samsung SGMI (2014-2017)
  • ANR Excalyb (2014-2017)
  • Heumem (2015-2018)
  • EU-FET Spice (2016-2019)
  • EU Great (2016-2019)
  • ERC Magical (2015-2020)


  • CEA LETI, Grenoble, France
  • Institut NEEL, Grenoble, France
  • Crocus Technology, Grenoble, France
  • Samsung, San Jose, USA
  • Singulus AG, Kahl am Main, Germany
  • Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
  • Radboud Universiteit, Neijmegen, Netherlands

Recent news

  • UNE COUCHE « TAMPON » QUI CHANGE TOUT ! (July 02nd, 2015)
    Une jonction tunnel magnétique exploite des variations de résistance électrique sous l’effet d’un champ magnétique. Des chercheurs de l’Inac ont montré que l’insertion d’une couche « tampon » entre deux structures cristallines différentes peut augmenter ...
  • PATHOS (July 02nd, 2015)
    Perpendicular Anisotropy Materials for High-Density Non-volatile Magnetic Memory Cells Description The project aims at building the knowledge to fabricate perpendicular anisotropy magnetic tunnel junctions, and more generally the realization of perpendicular anisotropy layers for use as magnetic ...
  • Magnetic Random Access Memories (January 01st, 2011)Magnetic Random Access Memories
    B. Dieny, R.C. Sousa, J.P. Nozières, O. Redon, I.L. Prejbeanu, Magnetic Random Access Memories (Ch.28), in Nanoelectronic and Information Technology, R. Waser Ed., Wiley-VCH (2011). ISBN: 978-3-527-40927-3. Spinelectronics is a rapidly expanding area of research and ...
  • Chapter — Spin transfer torques in magnetic tunnel junctions (January 01st, 2009)Chapter -- Spin transfer torques in magnetic tunnel junctions
    A. Manchon, N. Ryzhanova, M. Chshiev, A. Vedyaev, K.J. Lee, B. Dieny, Spin transfer torques in magnetic tunnel junctions, 63-106, in Giant Magnetoresistance: New Research, Eds: A. D. Torres and D. A. Perez, Nova Science ...
  • Chapter — Magnetic thin films and multilayers (January 01st, 2002)Chapter -- Magnetic thin films and multilayers
    B. Diény, Magnetic thin films and multilayers, 255-304, Ch.20, in Magnetism, Springer (2002). DOI: 10.1007/978-0-387-23063-4_6 Abstract Progress in high vacuum and ultra high vacuum material preparation techniques now allow the preparation of artificial structures consisting of ultra ...


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