- NSF-PAR ID:
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Page Range / eLocation ID:
- 1214 to 1218
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
More Like this
Magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) with conventional bulk ferromagnets separated by a nonmagnetic insulating layer are key building blocks in spintronics for magnetic sensors and memory. A radically different approach of using atomically-thin van der Waals (vdW) materials in MTJs is expected to boost their figure of merit, the tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR), while relaxing the lattice-matching requirements from the epitaxial growth and supporting high-quality integration of dissimilar materials with atomically-sharp interfaces. We report TMR up to 192% at 10 K in all-vdW Fe3GeTe2/GaSe/Fe3GeTe2 MTJs. Remarkably, instead of the usual insulating spacer, this large TMR is realized with a vdW semiconductor GaSe. Integration of semiconductors into the MTJs offers energy-band-tunability, bias dependence, magnetic proximity effects, and spin-dependent optical-selection rules. We demonstrate that not only the magnitude of the TMR is tuned by the semiconductor thickness but also the TMR sign can be reversed by varying the bias voltages, enabling modulation of highly spin-polarized carriers in vdW semiconductors.more » « less
Magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) in the field of spintronics have received enormous attention owing to their fascinating spin phenomena for fundamental physics and potential applications. MTJs exhibit a large tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) at room temperature. However, TMR depends strongly on the bias voltage, which reduces the magnitude of TMR. On the other hand, tunnel magnetocapacitance (TMC), which has also been observed in MTJs, can be increased when subjecting to a biasing voltage, thus exhibiting one of the most interesting spin phenomena. Here we report a large voltage-induced TMC beyond 330% in MgO-based MTJs, which is the largest value ever reported for MTJs. The voltage dependence and frequency characteristics of TMC can be explained by the newly proposed Debye-Fröhlich model using Zhang-sigmoid theory, parabolic barrier approximation, and spin-dependent drift diffusion model. Moreover, we predict that the voltage-induced TMC ratio could reach over 3000% in MTJs. It is a reality now that MTJs can be used as capacitors that are small in size, broadly ranged in frequencies and controllable by a voltage. Our theoretical and experimental findings provide a deeper understanding on the exact mechanism of voltage-induced AC spin transports in spintronic devices. Our research may open new avenues to the development of spintronics applications, such as highly sensitive magnetic sensors, high performance non-volatile memories, multi-functional spin logic devices, voltage controlled electronic components, and energy storage devices.
The van der Waals magnets CrX3(X = I, Br, and Cl) exhibit highly tunable magnetic properties and are promising candidates for developing novel two‐dimensional (2D) spintronic devices such as magnetic tunnel junctions and spin tunneling transistors. Previous studies of the antiferromagnetic CrCl3have mainly focused on mechanically exfoliated samples. Controlled synthesis of high quality atomically thin flakes is critical for their technological implementation but has not been achieved to date. This work reports the growth of large CrCl3flakes down to monolayer thickness via the physical vapor transport technique. Both isolated flakes with well‐defined facets and long stripe samples with the trilayer portion exceeding 60 µm have been obtained. High‐resolution transmission electron microscopy studies show that the CrCl3flakes are single crystalline in the monoclinic structure, consistent with the Raman results. The room temperature stability of the CrCl3flakes decreases with decreasing thickness. The tunneling magnetoresistance of graphite/CrCl3/graphite tunnel junctions confirms that few‐layer CrCl3possesses in‐plane magnetic anisotropy and Néel temperature of 17 K. This study paves the path for developing CrCl3‐based scalable 2D spintronic applications.
Pinhole-free and defect-free ultrathin dielectric tunnel barriers (TBs) is a key to obtaining high tunnelling magnetoresistance (TMR) and efficient switching in magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs). Among others, atomic layer deposition (ALD) provides a unique approach for the fabrication of ultrathin TBs with several advantages including an atomic-scale control on the TB thickness, conformal coating, and low defects density. Motivated by this, this work explores fabrication and characterization of spin-valve Fe/ALD-Al2O3/Fe MTJs with ALD-Al2O3 TB thickness of 0.55 nm using in situ ALD. Remarkably, high TMR values of ~77% and ~ 90% have been obtained respectively at room temperature and at 100 K, which are comparable to the best reported values on MTJs having thermal AlOx TBs with optimized device structures. In situ scanning tunnelling spectroscopy characterization of the ALD-Al2O3 TBs has revealed a higher tunnel barrier height (Eb) of 1.33±0.06 eV, in contrast to Eb~0.3-0.6 eV for their AlOx TB counterparts, indicative of significantly lower defect concentration in the former. This first success of the MTJs with sub-nm thick ALD-Al2O3 TBs demonstrates the feasibility of in situ ALD for fabrication of pinhole-free and low-defect ultrathin TBs for practical applications and the performance could be further improved through device optimization.more » « less
Abstract Magnetic random-access memory (MRAM) based on voltage-controlled magnetic anisotropy in magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) is a promising candidate for high-performance computing applications, due to its lower power consumption, higher bit density, and the ability to reduce the access transistor size when compared to conventional current-controlled spin-transfer torque MRAM. The key to realizing these advantages is to have a low MTJ switching voltage. Here, we report a perpendicular MTJ structure with a high voltage-controlled magnetic anisotropy coefficient ~130 fJ/Vm and high tunnel magnetoresistance exceeding 150%. Owing to the high voltage-controlled magnetic anisotropy coefficient, we demonstrate sub-nanosecond precessional switching of nanoscale MTJs with diameters of 50 and 70 nm, using a voltage lower than 1 V. We also show scaling of this switching mechanism down to 30 nm MTJs, with voltages close to 2 V. The results pave the path for the future development and application of voltage-controlled MRAMs and spintronic devices in emerging computing systems.more » « less