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Huy Pham, Dorin Cimpoesu, Andrei-Valentin Plamadă, Alexandru Stancu, and Leonard Spinu Citation: Appl. Phys. Lett. 95, 222513 (2009); doi: 10.1063/1.3265739 View online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3265739 View Table of Contents: http://apl.aip.org/resource/1/APPLAB/v95/i22 Published by the AIP Publishing LLC.

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The study relies on the Landau–Lifshitz–Gilbert equation. In a static regime the easy plane anisotropy can be neglected. and V1 is ﬁrst layer’s volume. As in Ref.4 The performance of the devices using SAF structures relies on their switching characteristics. and z: 2a = 120 nm along Ox and 2b = 100 nm along Oy . In Fig.3 hard disk reading heads or magnetic sensors. and on magnetostatic coupling is investigated.932͒ and to in-plane uniaxial shape anisotropy ﬁeld 0Hsh. The dependence of dynamic critical curves ͑dCCs͒ on ﬁeld pulse’s shape and length. better understand the toggle switching diagrams from Ref. with dCCs.1 = 0͑Ny − Nx͒ M s = 9.b͒ 1 Department of Physics and Advanced Materials Research Institute (AMRI). Subsequently.org/about/rights_and_permissions . Romania ͑Received 30 July 2009.2. We consider that the two ferromagnetic layers are identical except for the thickness.226. as the name may suggests͒.6. analyzing the magnetization switching of SAF elements subjected to pulsed magnetic ﬁelds.029. © 2009 American Institute of Physics. is constant. accepted 21 October 2009.1St1͒ and hmag = Wmag / ͑2Ksh. Iasi 700506.2 Alexandru Stancu. The ellipsoid’s principal axes are taken along x. namely the dynamic CC ͑dCC͒.3265739͔ The magnetization reversal in synthetic antiferromagnet ͑SAF͒ structures has been extensively studied due to their applications as hard layers of exchange coupled composite media. The model is based on Landau–Lifshitz–Gilbert ͑LLG͒ equation21 assuming that the magnetization in each layer is uniform. The pulse width TH is the amount of time the pulse takes to go from zero to high and back to zero again. especially for toggle MRAM.1 soft underlayers for perpendicular recording. New Orleans. S = ab is the layer’s area.APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS 95. 0. The magnetic layers are assumed to be in the shape of ellipsoids making the demagnetizing ﬁeld uniform across the layer.a͒ Andrei-Valentin Plamadă.8–15 However. and magnetostatic coupling. a dynamic generalization of static critical curves ͑sCCs͒ for synthetic antiferromagnet ͑SAF͒ structures is presented. it is shown that a consistent switching can be achieved only under speciﬁc conditions that take into account the dynamics of the systems.13.8 ϫ 106 / 4 A / m was used.1V1͒. 222513 ͑2009͒ Dynamic critical curve of a synthetic antiferromagnet Huy Pham. obtained by making the determinant of free energy’s Hessian equal to © 2009 American Institute of Physics 0003-6951/2009/95͑22͒/222513/3/$25. Comparing sCCs with dCCs it will be shown that a consistent switching can be achieved only under speciﬁc conditions that take into account the dynamics of the magnetic moments. Louisiana 70148. The ﬁnal state is taken after a time long enough to reach the equilibrium after the termination of applied pulse. leading to demagnetizing factors ͑Nx.18 Later. Nz͒ϭ͑0. phenomenological antiferromagnetic exchange coupling.8 and t = 1.2 and Leonard Spinu1. a thickness imbalance also involves a shape anisotropy imbalance. Hereby two contributions to anisotropy are taken into account: an easy plane and an easy axis ͑EA͒ directed in this plane. Cuza” University. these descriptions are restricted to quasistatic regime. the boundary between switching/ nonswitching regions represents the generalization of sCC.ro. The magnetization switching can be described using the concept of critical curve ͑CC͒ developed initially for uncoupled magnetic systems5 and then for coupled ﬁlms.112. For uncoupled systems it was shown that a pulsed magnetic ﬁeld can provide a high-speed switching16 below the static limit predicted by Stoner–Wohlfarth ͑SW͒ model. Using dCCs we can also a͒ b͒ Electronic mail: cdorin@uaic.7 CC being the locus of in-plane ﬁelds at which the irreversible magnetization reversal occurs ͑but not the locus of all free energy’s critical points. so that the ﬁeld sweep rate H. University of New Orleans.00 95. 22. The devices using SAF structures require a short access time and the magnetization is forced by pulsed magnetic ﬁelds to switch at nano and subnanosecond time scales for which the static CC ͑sCC͒ approach is not anymore adequate. As ferromagnetic material. Comparing sCCs. The effective ﬁelds consist of applied ﬁeld.82 mT.1 Dorin Cimpoesu. analyzing the magnetization switching of SAF elements subject to pulsed magnetic ﬁelds while thermal effects are neglected. The magnetostatic interaction ﬁeld was calculated using the method presented in Ref.edu. USA 2 Department of Physics. which are currently used for studying the switching in toggle magnetic random access memories. “Al. All magnetic ﬁelds presented throughout the paper are normalized by Hsh. CCs of SAF have been extensively studied due to their technological importance. published online 3 December 2009͒ In this letter. Ny. This article is copyrighted as indicated in the abstract. Reuse of AIP content is subject to the terms at: http://apl.17 and subsequently the dynamic CC of a SW particle was given. deﬁned as the ratio between the amplitude and pulse’s rise/fall time. 0. where Wex and Wmag are the exchange and magnetostatic energy when both layers are aligned along EA. The thickness of bottom layer is t1 = 5 nm. dynamic and temperature effects on toggle MRAM operating ﬁeld19 and switching diagrams20 were presented. y . permalloy with saturation magnetization M s = 10. 20. 222513-1 Downloaded 05 Jul 2013 to 134. 1 we present sCCs for t = 0.1.2 pinned and free layers for magnetic random access memory ͑MRAM͒. demagnetizing ﬁeld.1063/1. where the magnetization dynamics and precessional effects are neglected.aip. I. The thickness t2 of top layer is varied so that t = t2 / t1 Յ 1.039. The rise/fall time is a function of the pulse’s amplitude. Electronic mail: lspinu@uno. respectively. sinusoidal time dependence for the ﬁeld pulse rise and fall are assumed. ͓doi:10. In this letter a dynamic generalization of sCCs for coupled magnetic systems is presented. on damping. The last two are described by hJ = Wex / ͑2Ksh. 18 for a SW particle. Because an instantaneous change of the applied ﬁeld from zero to some value is not realistic.

0͒ for no applied ﬁeld͔.1 between hearts and the exterior curve ͓M e. and ͑dЈ͒.008 ͓͑a͒. 1͑a͔͒ the interior curve consists of a heartlike part ͑heart for short͒ and an astroidlike part.9 For hx Ͼ 0 on the heart M e. and ͑bЈ͔͒. is enlarged compared to sCC.226. The switching behavior of an asymmetric SAF is presented in Fig. the pulse ﬁeld has a rise time shorter than the relaxation time.05. i. 2͒ inside the heart. The free energy has one minimum M heart = ͑1 . This conﬁguration can reveal the left sides of both astroidlike CCs. and correspondingly the BL conﬁguration for ͑aЈ͒. Also.0 ϵ M heart. with switching/ nonswitching fringes. two pairs of degenerate minima existing inside it. The region corresponding to interior dCC. damping. hy͒ is the coordinate of the total vector ﬁeld hbias + hpulse when hpulse reached its peak value. Each point ͑hx . 222513 ͑2009͒ FIG. ͑cЈ͒. 0. starting from positive saturation. and pulse length dependence for ␣ = 1 ͓͑c͒. where 1.12 A strategy to point out the CCs is to use both a bias and a pulse ﬁeld ͑Fig. and then a pulse ﬁeld perpendicular to EA. In order to detect the right side of the heart we have to apply a L-shaped bias ﬁeld ͑a bias ﬁeld perpendicular to EA and then a bias ﬁeld parallel to EA. ͑bЈ͒. As H increases the nonswitching region corresponding to outermost dCC shrinks and an instability region. we observe that irreversible switches appear when the ﬁeld crosses the upper part of right part of the heart. ͑b͒. grows up because a signiﬁcant ringing of the magnetic moments still exists during the ﬁeld pulse and the ﬁnal state is determined by the positions of the moments at the end of the pulse.aip. ͑Color online͒ sCCs for an asymmetric SAF ͑a͒ and for a symmetric one ͑b͒. Appl. and ͑d͒. Also. ͑c͒.6 For t = 0.008. and then for each hbias value. 2. bringing the system back to the original state. then the precessional term from LLG equation can carry the magnetization over a large range of motion before energy is dissipated ͑precessional regime͒. 2. and then a pulse ﬁeld parallel to EA. corresponding to hx Ͼ 0 and hx Ͻ 0.112.8 ͓Fig. typical for Permalloy.0 ϵ M sat. 1͑b͔͒ the interior CC consists only of an astroidlike part. ﬁeld pulses with different amplitudes along EA ͑we denote with B1 this ﬁelds conﬁguration͒.222513-2 Pham et al. and then for each hbias value. Because for t = 1 the B1 conﬁguration cannot reveal the astroidlike CC.org/about/rights_and_permissions . 0͒ state. Consequently. one minimum outside the exterior CC and one pair of degenerate minima otherwise. we can see that for a damping coefﬁcient ␣ = 0. we identify two transitions: at the left side of the heart and at the exterior CC. starting from positive saturation. Comparing the system state before the pulse application with the state after completion of pulse. 1͒: for t = 0. ͒ and M e. For t = 1 ͓Fig. we decrease hbias along the EA. ͑d͒. For the symmetric case we apply a decreasing ﬁeld along EA. the height of the last being around 0. and ͑dЈ͔͒.1 = ͑ . combined with a L-shaped bias ﬁeld and a pulse ﬁeld perpendicular to EA.. where switches can occur. and magnetostatic coupling. ﬁeld pulses are applied perpendicular to EA ͑B2 conﬁguration͒. In order to minimize dynamical effects. The B1 conﬁguration was used for ͑a͒. From Figs. rare-earth dopants were used in Ref.23 the ﬁnal state is sensitive to the sweep rate H. 95. so as to not induce any irreversible transition͒ and ﬁeld pulses perpendicular to EA ͑BL conﬁguration͒. and on the exterior CC M e. Phys. ͑aЈ͒. In order to determine the parameters’ values for reliable operation of a MRAM cell. using sCCs instead of dCCs can lead to inadvertent switching of half-selected memory cells. two minima M e.13. a discontinuous transition occurs when the ﬁeld crosses the left side of the astroid. ͑b͒. The sCCs are restricted to the static regime and does not take into account the dynamics of the magnetization.8 we have to start from ͑ . and what is important to observe is that only a digit or word ﬁeld ͑applied at Ϯ45° with respect to EA͒ in toggle MRAM. Lett. while the state M e. 0͒.1 loses stability as it crosses both CCs. This article is copyrighted as indicated in the abstract. to apply a bias ﬁeld hbias perpendicular to EA. the SAF is subject to a slowly varying ﬁeld so that the system stays within one energy well and irreversible switches occur only when the state occupied by the system loses stability. 2͑a͒ and 2͑b͒. 24 to increase ␣ ͑␣ describing the energy dissipation and magnetization’s relaxation into the magnetic Downloaded 05 Jul 2013 to 134.0 and M e. Decreasing the ﬁeld back to zero. and one minimum M sat outside the exterior CC. can switch the magnetization. there is an out of plane component of magnetization. In a static regime a discontinuous transition occurs when an increasing ﬁeld starting from zero crosses the right side of the astroidlike part. ͑cЈ͒. Reuse of AIP content is subject to the terms at: http://apl. If FIG. respectively.0 = ͑0 . in contrast with the static case. we have studied the switching properties as a function of pulse’s shape and length. so that it appears almost like a point in our ﬁgures.e. 1. A strategy to point out CCs for an asymmetric SAF is to use an increasing bias ﬁeld perpendicular to EA. ͑Color online͒ Switching diagram of an asymmetric SAF: sweep rate dependence for ␣ = 0. 2 denote the magnetization angle of the two layers with respect to EA. starting from ͑ .

3. 3͑a͒ and 3͑b͔͒. 46. F. Stancu. Savtchenko. Lett. 17 E. P. Kapoor. 4559 ͑2004͒. Phys. Worledge. Mater.05 dCCs pretty much concur with sCCs. S. H. 24 W. Instead. 40. as H increases the nonswitching region corresponding to outermost dCC shrinks and an instability region grows up ͓Figs. and by systematic simulations it was observed that for TH = 3 ns the interior dCC shrinks toward sCC and the exterior dCC expands to sCC. Magn. 6. Magn. Jpn. IEEE Trans. 23 C.111. and C. ͑Color online͒ Switching diagrams of an asymmetric SAF. Fujiwara. 2 S. Dev. N. Lett. and in Figs. 69 ͑2006͒. Fassbender. Stancu. H. but the switch corresponding to the exterior CC can be detected. M. Fujiwara. 37. Wang and H. Misra. Lett. 50. In dealing with the problem of improving the MRAM speed and reliability. IBM J. Cimpoesu. Bauer. P. and the magnetostatic coupling. H. 27. damping parameter. 19 S. IEEE Trans. 013915 ͑2007͒.224. Russek. and L. Lett. Appl. Fujiwara. D. L. Rev. 7 H. and Y. 2568 ͑1999͒. B2 conﬁguration cannot reveal the entire exterior dCC. Spinu. 13 D. J. Worledge. 93. 6 H. Appl.13. 40. Byeon. 9 H. Appl. Res. Thomas.org/about/rights_and_permissions . 162509 ͑2007͒. IEEE Trans. Phys. 18 M. Appl. 97. 4. the dCCs and switching properties of a SAF element have been presented. Veloso.aip. 84. P. 3͑d͒ and 3͑e͒ we combine this method with B1 conﬁguration: the system switches when the increasing ﬁeld crosses the right branch of the interior CC and reverses back when the decreasing ﬁeld crosses the left branch. J. L. C. Lett. shrink a little bit. S. Slonczewski. Appl. 14 C. 172502 ͑2008͒. Worledge. Fujiwara. Appl. Report No. 35. P. B. Rizzo. 8 D. 15 H. This article is copyrighted as indicated in the abstract.222513-3 Pham et al. A.M. Dou. Rubio. 5 J. ͑Color online͒ Switching diagrams of a symmetric SAF using B2 conﬁguration ͓͑a͒–͑c͔͒ and B1 conﬁguration ͓͑d͒ and ͑e͔͒. Tejedor. Wohlfarth. Philos. based on the magnetization vectors dynamics. 93. 1025 ͑1969͒.545. 20 D. Radu. Iglesias. the exterior sCC expands toward higher ﬁelds. 419 ͑1962͒. W. and by Romanian PNII-RP3 under Grant Nos. Gilbert. due to the elliptical shape of the layers the magnetostatic ﬁelds not only depend on the angle between the magnetization of the two layers. and S. C. and M. 90.S. M. 90. Worledge. Work was partially supported by NSF under Grant No. D. H. 222506 ͑2007͒. C. and R. Janesky. and are almost independent on H. 3475 ͑1991͒. 22 M. London. Magn. Appl. and R. and R. IEEE Trans. 6. 022506 ͑2008͒. Victora. J. and J. Magn. Melo. Z. Freitas. Soc. Stamps. L. C. Elbaile. Magn. Phys. 4. C. Ser. Trans. 5002 ͑1975͒. Phys. and L. IBM J. J. respectively. R.112. U. Deherrera. Soc. A. 4086 ͑1994͒. Cimpoesu. 10P507 ͑2005͒. instead of dCCs can lead to inadvertent switching of halfselected memory cells. 222513 ͑2009͒ FIG. 2͑a͒. Huai. N. C. in the case of symmetric SAF. 40. Gallagher. 1749 ͑2001͒. Appl. Magn. J. and L. From Figs. Lett. Magn. J. 30. Doyle. FIG. Phys. 3410 ͑2000͒. Hillebrands. IEEE Trans. Li. 9/1. In summary. Magn. 830 ͑1995͒. 2͑b͒. Stoner and E. Frait. 27 ͑2005͒. and 4 we can see the differences between exchange and magnetostatic coupling. IEEE Trans. Y. Doyle. one need to pay attention to the parameters describing the pulses shape. We have shown that usage of sCCs Downloaded 05 Jul 2013 to 134. 1956. However. Lett. A. Phys. He. like the exchange coupling. Until now we have considered that the magnetostatic coupling is absorbed into the exchange constant hJ. 286. 121 ͑2004͒. Z. D. 3 L. Mancoff. Phys. Develop. 91. Similarly. for ␣ Ͼ 0. Magn.07. Further. 1 ﬁeld’s direction͒. However.226. Kabos. Y. Appl. E. Magn. P. Wang. IEEE Trans. Bailey. Phys. J. 132505 ͑2007͒. Res. C. Patton. As ␣ increases the instability fades away ͓Figs. Phys. V. As ␣ increases the instability fades away and the interior dCCs shift toward higher ﬁelds ͓Fig. 16 L. Sun. Phys. 95. The regions corresponding to interior CC. and W. 102. 2337 ͑2007͒. A 240. 11 D. 12 D. 31. 43. but also on each moment direction. D. and W. 21 T.05 the magnetization cannot follow the applied ﬁeld and dCCs shift toward higher ﬁelds.2009 and PNII 12-093 HIFI. taking into account both exchange and magnetostatic coupling. IBM Research Center Memorandum R.906 B1 ͑8 April 2003͒. A. 3443 ͑2004͒. Trans. 003. Spinu. J. increasing the possibility of undesirable switching of half-selected memory cells. Hernandez. Appl. Engel. H. Appl. B 61. using longer pulses dCCs move back toward sCCs. ECCS-0902086. 2386 ͑2004͒. Patent No. so that for ␣ = 0. Fujiwara. F. Phys. Chang. so that the interior CC is not revealed. 2͑c͒ and 2͑d͔͒. 599 ͑1948͒. Wilts. IEEE Trans. L. Wang. Rohrer and H. Trouilloud. Magn. and H. 3͑c͔͒. Phys. while the interior CC shifts toward origin. Reuse of AIP content is subject to the terms at: http://apl. 10 S. 4 A.

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