Switching current reduction using perpendicular anisotropy in CoFeB-MgO magnetic tunnel junctions

P. Khalili Amiri, Z. M. Zeng, J. Langer, H. Zhao, G. Rowlands, Y. J. Chen, I. N. Krivorotov, J. P. Wang, H. W. Jiang, J. A. Katine, Y. Huai, K. Galatsis, K. L. Wang

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We present in-plane CoFeB-MgO magnetic tunnel junctions with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy in the free layer to reduce the spin transfer induced switching current. The tunneling magnetoresistance ratio, resistance-area product, and switching current densities are compared in magnetic tunnel junctions with different CoFeB compositions. The effects of CoFeB free layer thickness on its magnetic anisotropy and current-induced switching characteristics are studied by vibrating sample magnetometry and electrical transport measurements on patterned elliptical nanopillar devices. Switching current densities ∼4 MA/ cm2 are obtained at 10 ns write times.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112507
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number11
StatePublished - Mar 14 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank T. Rahman, J. G. Alzate, P. Upadhyaya, M. Lewis, and J. Wrona. This work was supported by the DARPA STT-RAM (HR0011-09-C-0114) program, and by the Nanoelectronics Research Initiative through the Western Institute of Nanoelectronics.


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