Spin-transfer-torque reversal in perpendicular anisotropy spin valves with composite free layers

Abstract : We describe modeling of spin-transfer-torque (STT) driven reversal in nanopillars with strong out-of-plane magnetic anisotropy where the free layer is a magnetically hard-soft composite structure. By adjusting the exchange coupling between the hard and soft layers, we observed reduced current amplitude and pulse durations required to reverse the magnetization compared to a homogeneous free layer of comparable thermal stability. The reduction in critical current comes from the increased STT efficiency acting on the soft layer. As such, the switching current is relatively insensitive to the damping parameter of the magnetic hard layer. These properties make composite free layers promising candidates for STT-based magnetic memories.
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I Yulaev, M Lubarda, S. Mangin, V. Lomakin, Eric Fullerton. Spin-transfer-torque reversal in perpendicular anisotropy spin valves with composite free layers. Applied Physics Letters, American Institute of Physics, 2011, 99 (13), pp.132502. ⟨10.1063/1.3643046⟩. ⟨hal-02085966⟩

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