Tunnel magnetoresistance and spin torque switching in MgO-based magnetic tunnel junctions with a Co/Ni multilayer electrode

Moriyama, Takahiro; Gudmundsen, Theodore J.; Huang, Pinshane Y.; Liu, Luqiao; Muller, David A.; Ralph, Daniel C.; Buhrman, Robert A.
August 2010
Applied Physics Letters;8/16/2010, Vol. 97 Issue 7, p072513
Academic Journal
We have fabricated MgO-barrier magnetic tunnel junctions with a Co/Ni switching layer to reduce the demagnetizing field via interface anisotropy. With a fcc-(111) oriented Co/Ni multilayer combined with an FeCoB insertion layer, the demagnetizing field is 2 kOe and the tunnel magnetoresistance can be as high as 106%. Room-temperature measurements of spin-torque switching are in good agreement with predictions for a reduced critical current associated with the small demagnetization for antiparallel-to-parallel switching. For parallel-to-antiparallel switching the small demagnetization field causes spatially nonuniform reversal nucleated at the sample ends, with a low energy barrier but a higher switching current.


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