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Condensed Matter Seminars

ics Condensed Matter
Thursday, April 28, 2011
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204
Note special time.
Note special room.
Ms. Yishen Cui [Host: Stu Wolf]
University of Virginia
"Material Development for Magnetic tunnel junctions in Spin Transfer Torque Random Access Memory (STT-RAM)"
Magnetic Tunnel Junction(MTJ) has been widely studied recently due to its potential to be applied in high density memory devices. The basic structure of MTJ is composed of two ferromagnetic layers(free layer and fixed layer) separated by an insulating barrier layer. By aligning the free layer (FL) magnetization parallel or antiparallel with the fixed layer magnetization, different resistance levels can be obtained in the junction. The most significant characteristic of STT writing technology that distinguishes it from the conventional one is that it enables the manipulation on magnetization of FL by local spin polarized current rather than an external field, leading to many advantages such as a high scalability and low energy cost. The main challenge for improving the performance of MTJs driven by STT remains in the reduction of the critical switching current density that required by the FL switching without sacrificing the thermal stability of MTJ bits. These two factors are closely related with the intrinsic properties of the material used in the ferromagnetic layers in MTJ. This talk will be focused on some ferromagnetic materials that can be potentially applied in STT-MTJs.

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