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Voltage-Induced Ferromagnetic Resonance in Magnetic Tunnel Junctions

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      Abstract

      We demonstrate excitation of ferromagnetic resonance in CoFeB/MgO/CoFeB magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) by the combined action of voltage-controlled magnetic anisotropy (VCMA) and spin transfer torque (ST). Our measurements reveal that GHz-frequency VCMA torque and ST in low-resistance MTJs have similar magnitudes, and thus that both torques are equally important for understanding high-frequency voltage-driven magnetization dynamics in MTJs. As an example, we show that VCMA can increase the sensitivity of an MTJ-based microwave signal detector to the sensitivity level of semiconductor Schottky diodes.

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      Most cited references 16

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      A perpendicular-anisotropy CoFeB-MgO magnetic tunnel junction.

      Magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) with ferromagnetic electrodes possessing a perpendicular magnetic easy axis are of great interest as they have a potential for realizing next-generation high-density non-volatile memory and logic chips with high thermal stability and low critical current for current-induced magnetization switching. To attain perpendicular anisotropy, a number of material systems have been explored as electrodes, which include rare-earth/transition-metal alloys, L1(0)-ordered (Co, Fe)-Pt alloys and Co/(Pd, Pt) multilayers. However, none of them so far satisfy high thermal stability at reduced dimension, low-current current-induced magnetization switching and high tunnel magnetoresistance ratio all at the same time. Here, we use interfacial perpendicular anisotropy between the ferromagnetic electrodes and the tunnel barrier of the MTJ by employing the material combination of CoFeB-MgO, a system widely adopted to produce a giant tunnel magnetoresistance ratio in MTJs with in-plane anisotropy. This approach requires no material other than those used in conventional in-plane-anisotropy MTJs. The perpendicular MTJs consisting of Ta/CoFeB/MgO/CoFeB/Ta show a high tunnel magnetoresistance ratio, over 120%, high thermal stability at dimension as low as 40 nm diameter and a low switching current of 49 microA.
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        Conductance and exchange coupling of two ferromagnets separated by a tunneling barrier

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          Spin-torque diode effect in magnetic tunnel junctions.

          There is currently much interest in the development of 'spintronic' devices, in which harnessing the spins of electrons (rather than just their charges) is anticipated to provide new functionalities that go beyond those possible with conventional electronic devices. One widely studied example of an effect that has its roots in the electron's spin degree of freedom is the torque exerted by a spin-polarized electric current on the spin moment of a nanometre-scale magnet. This torque causes the magnetic moment to rotate at potentially useful frequencies. Here we report a very different phenomenon that is also based on the interplay between spin dynamics and spin-dependent transport, and which arises from unusual diode behaviour. We show that the application of a small radio-frequency alternating current to a nanometre-scale magnetic tunnel junction can generate a measurable direct-current (d.c.) voltage across the device when the frequency is resonant with the spin oscillations that arise from the spin-torque effect: at resonance (which can be tuned by an external magnetic field), the structure exhibits different resistance states depending on the direction of the current. This behaviour is markedly different from that of a conventional semiconductor diode, and could form the basis of a nanometre-scale radio-frequency detector in telecommunication circuits.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            1205.2835
            10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.197203

            Nanophysics

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