Amplification of spin-transfer torque in magnetic tunnel junctions with an antiferromagnetic barrier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We theoretically study spin-transfer torques in magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) with an antiferromagnetic insulator (AFI) as the tunnel barrier. When a finite voltage bias is applied to the MTJ, the energy relaxation of the tunnel electrons leads to asymmetric heating of two metallic layers. Consequently, there would be a magnon current flowing across the AFI layer, resulting a magnon transfer torque in addition to the electron spin-transfer torque. Comparing to MTJs with a nonmagnetic insulator which prohibits the magnon transmission, we find the magnon transfer torque with an AFI barrier could be several times larger than the conventional spin-transfer torque of the tunnel electrons. This study presents a potential method to realize more efficient switching in MTJs and provides a motivation of experimental search for AFI-based MTJs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104417
JournalPhysical Review B
Volume99
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 13 2019

Fingerprint

Tunnel junctions
tunnel junctions
Amplification
torque
Torque
insulators
tunnels
Tunnels
Electrons
Bias voltage
electron spin
electrons
Heating
heating
electric potential

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Amplification of spin-transfer torque in magnetic tunnel junctions with an antiferromagnetic barrier. / Cheng, Yihong; Wang, Weigang; Zhang, Shufeng.

In: Physical Review B, Vol. 99, No. 10, 104417, 13.03.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{7f873c15686c4440ac62e71a42b32a66,
title = "Amplification of spin-transfer torque in magnetic tunnel junctions with an antiferromagnetic barrier",
abstract = "We theoretically study spin-transfer torques in magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) with an antiferromagnetic insulator (AFI) as the tunnel barrier. When a finite voltage bias is applied to the MTJ, the energy relaxation of the tunnel electrons leads to asymmetric heating of two metallic layers. Consequently, there would be a magnon current flowing across the AFI layer, resulting a magnon transfer torque in addition to the electron spin-transfer torque. Comparing to MTJs with a nonmagnetic insulator which prohibits the magnon transmission, we find the magnon transfer torque with an AFI barrier could be several times larger than the conventional spin-transfer torque of the tunnel electrons. This study presents a potential method to realize more efficient switching in MTJs and provides a motivation of experimental search for AFI-based MTJs.",
author = "Yihong Cheng and Weigang Wang and Shufeng Zhang",
year = "2019",
month = "3",
day = "13",
doi = "10.1103/PhysRevB.99.104417",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "99",
journal = "Physical Review B-Condensed Matter",
issn = "0163-1829",
publisher = "American Physical Society",
number = "10",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Amplification of spin-transfer torque in magnetic tunnel junctions with an antiferromagnetic barrier

AU - Cheng, Yihong

AU - Wang, Weigang

AU - Zhang, Shufeng

PY - 2019/3/13

Y1 - 2019/3/13

N2 - We theoretically study spin-transfer torques in magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) with an antiferromagnetic insulator (AFI) as the tunnel barrier. When a finite voltage bias is applied to the MTJ, the energy relaxation of the tunnel electrons leads to asymmetric heating of two metallic layers. Consequently, there would be a magnon current flowing across the AFI layer, resulting a magnon transfer torque in addition to the electron spin-transfer torque. Comparing to MTJs with a nonmagnetic insulator which prohibits the magnon transmission, we find the magnon transfer torque with an AFI barrier could be several times larger than the conventional spin-transfer torque of the tunnel electrons. This study presents a potential method to realize more efficient switching in MTJs and provides a motivation of experimental search for AFI-based MTJs.

AB - We theoretically study spin-transfer torques in magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) with an antiferromagnetic insulator (AFI) as the tunnel barrier. When a finite voltage bias is applied to the MTJ, the energy relaxation of the tunnel electrons leads to asymmetric heating of two metallic layers. Consequently, there would be a magnon current flowing across the AFI layer, resulting a magnon transfer torque in addition to the electron spin-transfer torque. Comparing to MTJs with a nonmagnetic insulator which prohibits the magnon transmission, we find the magnon transfer torque with an AFI barrier could be several times larger than the conventional spin-transfer torque of the tunnel electrons. This study presents a potential method to realize more efficient switching in MTJs and provides a motivation of experimental search for AFI-based MTJs.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85063231746&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85063231746&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1103/PhysRevB.99.104417

DO - 10.1103/PhysRevB.99.104417

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85063231746

VL - 99

JO - Physical Review B-Condensed Matter

JF - Physical Review B-Condensed Matter

SN - 0163-1829

IS - 10

M1 - 104417

ER -