Ferromagnetic resonance and magnetization switching characteristics of perpendicular magnetic tunnel junctions with synthetic antiferromagnetic free layers

Deyuan Lyu, Delin Zhang, Daniel B. Gopman, Yang Lv, Onri J. Benally, Jian Ping Wang

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9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Perpendicular magnetic tunnel junctions (pMTJs) with synthetic antiferromagnetic (SAF) free layers have attracted much interest for applications on spintronic memory devices with ultrafast speed and ultralow energy. In this work, SAF free layer pMTJs (SAF-pMTJs) were designed and fabricated, in which a Ru/Ta bilayer spacer is used to form the SAF structure. We first characterized the magnetization dynamics of the SAF free layer by using ferromagnetic resonance and found that the Gilbert damping constant of the SAF free layer is around 0.019. Then, in device level studies that span from 900 nm down to 200 nm lateral size, we observed a transition of the SAF free layer from a preferred antiparallel to parallel magnetic configuration at small device sizes, which can be explained by the increased dipole interaction. The impact of the operating current was also investigated. We report an extraordinarily strong dependence, up to 144.1 kOe per A/ μm2, of the offset field on the applied current, suggesting an electric-field modulation on the interlayer exchange coupling of the SAF free layer. These results will be instructive to improve the understanding of material properties and device performance of SAF-pMTJs for ultrafast, ultralow-power consumption spintronic devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number012404
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Volume120
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 3 2022

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