Magnetodynamics in Spin Valves and Magnetic Tunnel Junctions with Perpendicular and Tilted Anisotropies

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Abstract: Spin-torque transfer (STT) effects have brought spintronics ever closer to practical electronic applications, such as MRAM and active broadband microwave spin-torque oscillator (STO), and have emerged as an increasingly attractive field of research in spin dynamics. Utilizing materials with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA) in such applications offers several great advantages such as low-current, low-field operation combined with high thermal stability. The exchange coupling that a PMA thin film exerts on an adjacent in-plane magnetic anisotropy (IMA) layer can tilt the IMA magnetization direction out of plane, thus creating a stack with an effective tilted magnetic anisotropy. The tilt angle can be engineered via both intrinsic material parameters, such as the PMA and the saturation magnetization, and extrinsic parameters, such as the layer thicknesses.      STOs can be fabricated in one of a number of forms—as a nanocontact opening on a mesa from a deposited pseudospin-valve (PSV) structure, or as a nanopillar etching from magnetic tunneling junction (MTJ)—composed of highly reproducible PMA or predetermined tilted magnetic anisotropy layers.      All-perpendicular CoFeB MTJ STOs showed high-frequency microwave generation with extremely high current tunability, all achieved at low applied biases. Spin-torque ferromagnetic resonance (ST-FMR) measurements and analysis revealed the bias dependence of spin-torque components, thus promise great potential for direct gate-voltage controlled STOs.      In all-perpendicular PSV STOs, magnetic droplets were observed underneath the nanocontact area at a low drive current and low applied field. Furthermore, preliminary results for microwave auto-oscillation and droplet solitons were obtained from tilted-polarizer PSV STOs. These are promising and would be worth investigating in further studies of STT driven spin dynamics.