Voltage-controlled interlayer coupling in perpendicularly magnetized magnetic tunnel junctions

T. Newhouse-Illige, Yaohua Liu, M. Xu, D. Reifsnyder Hickey, A. Kundu, H. Almasi, Chong Bi, X. Wang, J. W. Freeland, D. J. Keavney, C. J. Sun, Y. H. Xu, M. Rosales, X. M. Cheng, Shufeng Zhang, K. A. Mkhoyan, W. G. Wang

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48 Scopus citations


Magnetic interlayer coupling is one of the central phenomena in spintronics. It has been predicted that the sign of interlayer coupling can be manipulated by electric fields, instead of electric currents, thereby offering a promising low energy magnetization switching mechanism. Here we present the experimental demonstration of voltage-controlled interlayer coupling in a new perpendicular magnetic tunnel junction system with a GdO x tunnel barrier, where a large perpendicular magnetic anisotropy and a sizable tunnelling magnetoresistance have been achieved at room temperature. Owing to the interfacial nature of the magnetism, the ability to move oxygen vacancies within the barrier, and a large proximity-induced magnetization of GdO x, both the magnitude and the sign of the interlayer coupling in these junctions can be directly controlled by voltage. These results pave a new path towards achieving energy-efficient magnetization switching by controlling interlayer coupling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number15232
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - May 16 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Author(s).

MRSEC Support

  • Shared

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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