NYU Scientists Build Nanoconstriction Spintronic
Resonator for Storage and Processing
August 4, 2021
have developed a means to create a new type of memory, marking a notable
breakthrough in the increasingly sophisticated field of artificial
Advance Holds Promise for Artificial Intelligence
A team of scientists has developed a means to create a new type of
memory, marking a notable breakthrough in the increasingly sophisticated
field of artificial intelligence.
“Quantum materials hold great promise for improving the capacities of
today’s computers,” explains Andrew Kent, a New York University
physicist and one of the senior investigators. “The work draws upon
their properties in establishing a new structure for computation.”
The creation, designed in partnership with researchers from the
University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego) and the University of
Paris-Saclay, is reported in the Nature journal Scientific Reports.
“Since conventional computing has reached its limits, new computational
methods and devices are being developed,” adds Ivan Schuller, a UC San
Diego physicist and one of the paper’s authors. “These have the
potential of revolutionizing computing and in ways that may one day
rival the human brain.”
In recent years, scientists have sought to make advances in what is
known as “neuromorphic computing”--a process that seeks to mimic the
functionality of the human brain. Because of its human-like
characteristics, it may offer more efficient and innovative ways to
process data using approaches not achievable using existing
In the Scientific Reports work, the researchers created a new device
that marks major progress already made in this area.
To do so, they built a nanoconstriction spintronic resonator to
manipulate known physical properties in innovative ways.
Resonators are capable of generating and storing waves of well-defined
frequencies--akin to the box of a string instrument. Here, the
scientists constructed a new type of resonator--capable of storing and
processing information similar to synapses and neurons in the brain. The
one described in Scientific Reports combines the unique properties of
quantum materials together with that of spintronic magnetic devices.
devices are electronics that use an electron’s spin in addition to its
electrical charge to process information in ways that reduce energy
while increasing storage and processing capacity relative to more
traditional approaches. A broadly used such device, a “spin torque
oscillator,” operates at a specific frequency. Combining it with a
quantum material allows tuning this frequency and thus broadening its
“This is a fundamental advance that has applications in computing,
particularly in neuromorphic computing, where such resonators can serve
as connections among computing components,” observes Kent.
This research was supported by the Quantum Materials for Energy
Efficient Neuromorphic Computing, an Energy Frontier Research Center
funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science Basic Energy
Sciences (BES) under award DE-SC0019273.