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Thermally Activated Switching in Nanoscale Magnetic Tunnel Junctions
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Applied Physics, Nanostructure Physics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2339-1692
2010 (English)In: IEEE transactions on magnetics, ISSN 0018-9464, E-ISSN 1941-0069, Vol. 46, no 6, 2101-2103 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Magnetic tunnel junctions 90 to 300 nm wide and of aspect ratio approximate to 2 are studied using high-speed pulse fields with regard to the soft-layer magnetization reversal under thermal agitation. It is found that the larger cells, 200-300 nm wide, reverse through nonuniform magnetization states with the energy barriers to thermal activation an order of magnitude smaller than those expected for single-domain magnets. The single-domain limit is reached for the smallest cells, having elliptical soft layers approximately 90 nm wide and 150-200 nm long. The magnetization decay in the small cell limit is well described by the Stoner-Wohlfarth single-domain model and the Arrhenius activation law. The results demonstrate that the penalty due to the smaller magnetic volume is compensated by a larger relative energy barrier to activation as the junction size is reduced to similar to 90 nm. This determines the important length scale for geometric scaling of such technologies as magnetic random access memory.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 46, no 6, 2101-2103 p.
Keyword [en]
Magnetic memories, magnetization reversal, magnetoresistive devices, thermal activation
National Category
Nano Technology Physical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-46650DOI: 10.1109/TMAG.2010.2040718ISI: 000278037800214ScopusID: 2-s2.0-77952870959OAI: diva2:454771
QC 20111108Available from: 2011-11-08 Created: 2011-11-04 Last updated: 2011-11-08Bibliographically approved

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