In this work, IrMn-based perpendicular magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) are investigated. By inserting a thin W layer at an antiferromagnet/ferromagnet (AFM/FM) interface, we enhance the annealing temperature to 355 °C and obtain a high tunnel magnetoresistance ratio of 127%. Subsequently, field-free spin–orbit torque (SOT) switching of perpendicular MTJ is realized thanks to the in-plane exchange bias generated at the AFM/FM interface. Moreover, by applying a gate voltage, a coercive field is effectively decreased due to the voltage-controlled magnetic anisotropy (VCMA) effect. Finally, through the interplay of the SOT and VCMA effects, the critical switching current density is dramatically reduced by 73% (to 2.4 MA/cm2) and the total writing power consumption is decreased by 84% when a gate voltage of 0.76 V is applied. These findings pave the way for the practical applications of the IrMn-based perpendicular MTJs in low-power magnetic random-access memory.
Voltage-gated spin-orbit torque switching in IrMn-based perpendicular magnetic tunnel junctions
Note: This paper is part of the APL Special Collection on Magneto-ionic and electrostatic gating of magnetism: Phenomena and devices.
Jiaqi Lu, Weixiang Li, Jiahao Liu, Zhaochun Liu, Yining Wang, Congzheng Jiang, Jiabo Du, Shiyang Lu, Na Lei, Shouzhong Peng, Weisheng Zhao; Voltage-gated spin-orbit torque switching in IrMn-based perpendicular magnetic tunnel junctions. Appl. Phys. Lett. 2 January 2023; 122 (1): 012402. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0128865
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