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Sci Rep. 2016 Jan 6;6:18719. doi: 10.1038/srep18719.

Magnetization switching by combining electric field and spin-transfer torque effects in a perpendicular magnetic tunnel junction.

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Department of Optical Science and Engineering, Key Laboratory of Micro and Nano Photonic Structures (Ministry of Education), Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China.
School of Physical Science and Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China.
Key Laboratory of Polar Materials and Devices, Ministry of Education East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China.


Effective manipulation of magnetization orientation driven by electric field in a perpendicularly magnetized tunnel junction introduces technologically relevant possibility for developing low power magnetic memories. However, the bipolar orientation characteristic of toggle-like magnetization switching possesses intrinsic difficulties for practical applications. By including both the in-plane (T//) and field-like (T⊥) spin-transfer torque terms in the Landau-Lifshitz-Gilbert simulation, reliable and deterministic magnetization reversal can be achieved at a significantly reduced current density of 5×10(9) A/m(2) under the co-action of electric field and spin-polarized current, provided that the electric-field pulse duration exceeds a certain critical value τc. The required critical τc decreases with the increase of T⊥ strength because stronger T⊥ can make the finally stabilized out-of-plane component of magnetization stay in a larger negative value. The power consumption for such kind of deterministic magnetization switching is found to be two orders of magnitude lower than that of the switching driven by current only.

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