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Condensed Matter Seminars

ics Condensed Matter
Thursday, April 24, 2008
4:00 PM
Physics Building, Room 204
Note special time.
Note special room.
Wei Chen [Host: Jongsoo Yoon]
University of Virginia
"Exploration of Novel Tunnel Barrier Materials for STT-RAM "
 Slideshow (PDF)
The basic structure of magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) consists of two ferromagnetic(FM) layers sandwiched by an ultra thin insulating barrier, and it shows high or low resistance depending on the relative direction of the the magnetization of two FM layers. Conventional Magnetic random access memory (MRAM) using MTJs as storage units are switched using external filed, so it has the scaling problem beyond 65nm node. A new switching mechanism called Spin Torque Transfer (STT) has been proposed and experimentally confirmed. In our work, new tunnel barrier materials are being explored to enhance the performance of this new STT-RAM technology. One of the particular tunnel barrier materials VO2 has the metal-insulator transition close to room temperature, and we're trying to incorporate VO2 into MTJs stack as the smart barrier for the STT switching so that the MTJs could be switched in low resistance state and read at high resistance state.

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