Giant voltage manipulation of MgO-based magnetic tunnel junctions via localized anisotropic strain: A potential pathway to ultra-energy-efficient memory technology

Zhengyang Zhao, Mahdi Jamali, Noel D'Souza, Delin Zhang, Supriyo Bandyopadhyay, Jayasimha Atulasimha, Jian Ping Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations

Abstract

Voltage control of magnetization via strain in piezoelectric/magnetostrictive systems is a promising mechanism to implement energy-efficient straintronic memory devices. Here, we demonstrate giant voltage manipulation of MgO magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJ) on a Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)0.7Ti0.3O3 piezoelectric substrate with (001) orientation. It is found that the magnetic easy axis, switching field, and the tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) of the MTJ can be efficiently controlled by strain from the underlying piezoelectric layer upon the application of a gate voltage. Repeatable voltage controlled MTJ toggling between high/low-resistance states is demonstrated. More importantly, instead of relying on the intrinsic anisotropy of the piezoelectric substrate to generate the required strain, we utilize anisotropic strain produced using a local gating scheme, which is scalable and amenable to practical memory applications. Additionally, the adoption of crystalline MgO-based MTJ on piezoelectric layer lends itself to high TMR in the strain-mediated MRAM devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number092403
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Volume109
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 29 2016

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