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Nanoring magnetic tunnel junction and its application in magnetic random access memory demo devices with spin-polarized current switching (invited)

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3 Author(s)
Han, X.F. ; State Key Laboratory of Magnetism, Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics, Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing 100080, People''s Republic of China ; Wen, Z.C. ; Wei, H.X.

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Current-driven magnetization switching was observed in the nanoring-shaped magnetic tunnel junctions (NR-MTJs) with key stack layers of both spin-valve-type antiferromagnetic/ferromagnetic/insulator/ferromagnetic and sandwich-type hard ferromagnetic/insulator/soft ferromagnetic structures. We successfully fabricated a series of ring-shaped MTJs with different ring-outer diameters of between 80 nm and 4 μm and different ring width of between 25 nm and 2 μm. Tunneling magnetoresistance ratio between 20% and 80% with different thickness of thin Al–O barrier was measured at room temperature as we apply a magnetic field or a pulsed current. When the electric current density exceeds a critical value of the order of 6×106 A/cm2, the magnetization of the two free and reference magnetic rings can be switched back and forth between parallel and antiparallel onion states. The experiments show that the spin transfer torque plays a main switching role in the magnetization reversal and the current-induced circular magnetic field plays an assisted-switching role in such NR-MTJs.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:103 ,  Issue: 7 )