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      Giant interfacial perpendicular magnetic anisotropy in MgO/CoFe/capping layer structures

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          Efficient iterative schemes forab initiototal-energy calculations using a plane-wave basis set

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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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              The emergence of spin electronics in data storage.

              Electrons have a charge and a spin, but until recently these were considered separately. In classical electronics, charges are moved by electric fields to transmit information and are stored in a capacitor to save it. In magnetic recording, magnetic fields have been used to read or write the information stored on the magnetization, which 'measures' the local orientation of spins in ferromagnets. The picture started to change in 1988, when the discovery of giant magnetoresistance opened the way to efficient control of charge transport through magnetization. The recent expansion of hard-disk recording owes much to this development. We are starting to see a new paradigm where magnetization dynamics and charge currents act on each other in nanostructured artificial materials. Ultimately, 'spin currents' could even replace charge currents for the transfer and treatment of information, allowing faster, low-energy operations: spin electronics is on its way.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Applied Physics Letters
                Appl. Phys. Lett.
                AIP Publishing
                0003-6951
                1077-3118
                February 13 2017
                February 13 2017
                : 110
                : 7
                : 072403
                Article
                10.1063/1.4976517
                © 2017

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