Control of offset field and pinning stability in perpendicular magnetic tunnelling junctions with synthetic antiferromagnetic coupling multilayer

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Control of offset field and pinning stability in perpendicular magnetic tunnelling junctions with synthetic antiferromagnetic coupling multilayer
Title:
Control of offset field and pinning stability in perpendicular magnetic tunnelling junctions with synthetic antiferromagnetic coupling multilayer
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Journal of Applied Physics
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Publication Date:
09 March 2015
Citation:
Abstract:
In a magnetic tunnelling junction (MTJ) with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA), offset field (Ho) of the free layer is usually controlled by using a synthetic antiferromagnetic (SAF) coupling structure, which is composed of an antiferromagnetic coupling (AFC) layer sandwiched by two ferromagnetic (FM) layers. However, Ho increases significantly as the size of MTJ devices shrinks to accommodate high density. In addition, magnetostatic field in PMA SAF structure tends to destabilize the antiferromagnetic (AFM) alignment of the SAF layers, in contrast to the in-plane anisotropy SAF, where the closed flux forms stable AFM magnetic configuration. Here, we present a double SAF structure to control Ho, while maintaining high magnetic stability of the reference layer (RL). The double SAF consists of FM1/AFC/FM2/AFC/FM3 multilayer. An AFM layer like PtMn is added to further stabilize the magnetic configuration of the double SAF. As the magnetiza-tion of other FM layers (FM1 and FM2) is aligned oppositely, the magnetostatic field acting on the RL (FM3) layer is significantly reduced due to cancellation effect from its adjacent layers. Both simulation and experimental results demonstrate that the double SAF layers provide high stability for the RL in addition to the reduction of Ho. Our results on MTJ devices show that the AFM pinned double SAF has the highest RL stability. The RL switch rate decreases as the thickness of the CoFe inserted layer between AFM and the pinned layer (Co/Pt multilayer) increases due to improved exchange coupling.
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ISSN:
0021-8979
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