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Title: Magnetostatic effects on switching in small magnetic tunnel junctions

Perpendicular CoFeB/MgO/CoFeB magnetic tunnel junctions with diameters under 100 nm are investigated by conductive atomic force microscopy. Minor loops of the tunnel magnetoresistance as a function of applied magnetic field reveal the hysteresis of the soft layer and an offset due to the magnetostatic field of the hard layer. Within the hysteretic region, telegraph noise is observed in the tunnel current. Simulations show that in this range, the net magnetic field in the soft layer is spatially inhomogeneous, and that antiparallel to parallel switching tends to start near the edge, while parallel to antiparallel reversal favors nucleation in the interior of the soft layer. As the diameter of the tunnel junction is decreased, the average magnitude of the magnetostatic field increases, but the spatial inhomogeneity across the soft layer is reduced.
Authors:
; ; ;  [1] ; ;  [2]
  1. Physics Department, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213 (United States)
  2. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21218 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22489292
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Physics Letters; Journal Volume: 108; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: (c) 2016 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; ATOMIC FORCE MICROSCOPY; LAYERS; MAGNESIUM OXIDES; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MAGNETORESISTANCE; NUCLEATION; SIMULATION; TUNNEL EFFECT