Determining and Optimizing the Current and Magnetic Field Dependence of Spin-Torque and Spin Hall Nano-Oscillators Toward Next-Generation Nanoelectronic Devices and Systems

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Abstract: Spin-torque and spin Hall nano-oscillators are nanoscale devices (about 100 nm)capable of producing tunable broadband high-frequency microwave signals ranging from 0.1 GHz to over 65 GHz that several research groups trying to reach up to200 - 300 GHz. Their development is ongoing for applications in high-frequency nanoelectronic devices and systems, such as mobile phones, wireless networks, base stations, vehicle radars and even medical applications.This thesis covers a wide range of characterizations of spin-torque and spin Hall nano-oscillator devices that aim to investigate their current and magnetic field dependency, as well as to suggest improvements in these devices to optimize their application in spintronics and magnonics. The work is primarily based on experimental methods for characterizing these devices by building up new measurement systems, but it also includes numerical and micromagnetic simulations.Experimental techniques: In order to characterize the fabricated nanodevices in a detailed and accurate manner through their electrical and microwave responses, new measurement systems capable of full 3D control over the external magnetic fields will be described. In addition, a new method of probing an operational device using magnetic force microscopy (MFM) will be presented.Spin-torque nano-oscillators: We will describe remarkable improvements in the performance of spin-torque nano-oscillators (STNOs) that enhance their integration capability with applications in microwave systems. In nanocontact (NC-)STNOs made from a conventional spin-valve stack, though with thicker bottom electrodes, it is found the auto-oscillations can be excited with higher frequencies at lower threshold currents, and with higher output powers. We also find that this idea is useful for tuning spin-wave resonance and also controlling the thermal budget. Furthermore, a detailed study of magnetic droplet solitons and spin-wave dynamics in NC-STNOs will be described. Finally, we demonstrate ultra-high frequency tunability in low-current STNOs based on perpendicular magnetic tunnel junctions(p-MTJs).Spin Hall nano-oscillators: Characterizations of spin Hall nano-oscillator(SHNO) devices based on different structures and materials with both conventional and novel methods will be described. A detailed study of the current, temperature, and magnetic field profiles of nanogap SHNOs will be presented. In addition, we show the current and magnetic field dependence of nanoconstriction-based SHNOs.Moreover, it is shown that multiple SHNOs can be serially synchronized, thereby increasing their output power and enhancing the usage of these devices in applications such as neuromorphic computing. We show synchronization of multiple nanoconstriction SHNOs in the presence of a low in-plane magnetic field. Finally, there is a demonstration of the results of a novel method for probing an operationalSHNO using MFM.