Spin torque switching of perpendicular Ta∣CoFeB∣MgO-based magnetic tunnel junctions

DC Worledge, Kuo-Juei Hu, DW Abraham, Jifeng Sun, PL Trouilloud, J Nowak, S Brown, MC Gaidis, Ewan O'Sullivan, RP Robertazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

535 Citations (Scopus)


Spin torque switching is investigated in perpendicular magnetic tunnel junctions using Ta|CoFeB|MgO free layers and a synthetic antiferromagnet reference layer. We show that the Ta|CoFeB interface makes a key contribution to the perpendicular anisotropy. The quasistatic phase diagram for switching under applied field and voltage is reported. Low switching voltages, Vc 50 ns=290 mV are obtained, in the range required for spin torque magnetic random access memory. Switching down to 1 ns is reported, with a rise in switching speed from increased overdrive that is eight times greater than for comparable in-plane devices, consistent with expectations from a single-domain model.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)022501-
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • magnetic storage
  • perpendicular magnetic anisotropy
  • magnetic switching
  • cobalt alloys
  • boron alloys
  • magnesium compounds
  • magnetic tunnelling
  • iron alloys
  • antiferromagnetic materials
  • magnetic transitions


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