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Nature. 2005 Sep 15;437(7057):393-5.

Phase-locking in double-point-contact spin-transfer devices.

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Technology Solutions Organization, Freescale Semiconductor Inc., Chandler, Arizona 85224, USA.


Spin-transfer in nanometre-scale magnetic devices results from the torque on a ferromagnet owing to its interaction with a spin-polarized current and the electrons' spin angular momentum. Experiments have detected either a reversal or high-frequency (GHz) steady-state precession of the magnetization in giant magnetoresistance spin valves and magnetic tunnel junctions with current densities of more than 10(7) A cm(-2). Spin-transfer devices may enable high-density, low-power magnetic random access memory or direct-current-driven nanometre-sized microwave oscillators. Here we show that the magnetization oscillations induced by spin-transfer in two 80-nm-diameter giant-magnetoresistance point contacts in close proximity to each other can phase-lock into a single resonance over a frequency range from approximately <10 to >24 GHz for contact spacings of less than about approximately 200 nm. The output power from these contact pairs with small spacing is approximately twice the total power from more widely spaced (approximately 400 nm and greater) contact pairs that undergo separate resonances, indicating that the closely spaced pairs are phase-locked with zero phase shift. Phase-locking may enable control of large arrays of coupled spin-transfer devices with increased power output for microwave oscillator applications.


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