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Voltage Controlled Magnetic Anisotropy Based Low Energy Switching of a Ferromagnet on a Topological Insulator


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      We present a novel memory device that consists of a thin ferromagnetic layer of Fe deposited on topological insulator thin film, Bi2Se3. The ferromagnetic layer has perpendicular anisotropy, due to MgO deposited on the top surface of Fe. When current is passed on the surface of Bi2Se3, the surface of the Bi2Se3 becomes spin polarized and strong exchange interaction occurs between the d electrons in the ferromagnet and the electrons conducting the current on the surface of the Bi2Se3. Part of the current is shunted through the ferromagnet which generates spin transfer torque in the ferromagnet. The combination of the spin transfer torque and exchange interaction torque along with voltage-controlled magnetic anisotropy (VCMA) allows ultralow-energy switching of the ferromagnet. We perform micromagnetic simulations and predict switching time of the order of 2.5 ns and switching energy of the order of 0.45fJ for a ferromagnetic bit with thermal stability of 43kBT. Such ultralow-energy and high-speed VCMA-induced switching of a perpendicular anisotropy ferromagnet on a topological insulator could be utilized for energy-efficient memory design.

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