Manipulation of magnetization switching and tunnel magnetoresistance via temperature and voltage control

Houfang Liu, Ran Wang, Peng Guo, Zhenchao Wen, Jiafeng Feng, Hongxiang Wei, Xiufeng Han, Yang Ji, Shufeng Zhang

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Abstract

Magnetization switching between parallel and antiparallel alignments of two magnetic layers in magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) is conventionally controlled either by an external magnetic field or by an electric current. Here, we report that the manipulation of magnetization switching and tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) in perpendicularly magnetized CoFeB/MgO/CoFeB MTJs can be achieved by both temperature and voltage. At a certain range of temperature, coercivity crossover between top and bottom magnetic layers is observed in which the TMR ratio of the MTJs is almost unmeasurable. Furthermore, the temperature range can be tuned reversibly by an electric voltage. Magnetization switching driven by the voltage reveals an unconventional phenomenon such that the voltage driven coercivity changes with temperature are quite different for top and bottom CoFeB layers. A model based on thermally-assisted domain nucleation and propagation is developed to explain the frequency and temperature dependence of coercivity. The present results of controlling the magnetization switching by temperature and voltage may provide an alternative route for novel applications of MTJs based spintronic devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number18269
JournalScientific Reports
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 14 2015

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