We have investigated the electric field (EF) effect on magnetism in a Co thin film with a naturally oxidized surface. The EF was applied to the oxidized Co surface through a gate insulator layer made of HfO2, which was formed using atomic layer deposition (ALD). The efficiency of the EF effect on the magnetic anisotropy in the sample with the HfO2 layer deposited at the appropriate temperature for the ALD process was relatively large compared to the previously reported values with an unoxidized Co film. The coercivity promptly and reversibly followed the variation in gate voltage. The modulation of the channel resistance was at most ∼0.02%. In contrast, a dramatic change in the magnetic properties including the large change in the saturation magnetic moment and a much larger EF-induced modulation of the channel resistance (∼10%) were observed in the sample with a HfO2 layer deposited at a temperature far below the appropriate temperature range. The response of these properties to the gate voltage was very slow, suggesting that a redox reaction dominated the EF effect on the magnetism in this sample. The frequency response for the capacitive properties was examined to discuss the difference in the mechanism of the EF effect observed here.

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