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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • DC Worledge
  • Kuo-Juei Hu
  • DW Abraham
  • Jifeng Sun
  • PL Trouilloud
  • J Nowak
  • S Brown
  • MC Gaidis
  • RP Robertazzi

Colleges, School and Institutes


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