ABSTRACT: Dual magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) structures consisting of two MgO insulating barriers of different resistances, two pinned reference layers aligned antiparallel to one another, and a free layer embedded between the two insulating barriers have been developed. The electron transport and spin dependent resistances in the dual MTJ structures are accounted for by sequential tunneling with some spin-flip relaxation in the central electrode (the free layer). With a tunneling magnetoresistance ratio of 70%, a switching current density Jc (at 30 ms) of 0.52 MA/cm2 is obtained, corresponding to an intrinsic value of Jc0 (at 1 ns) of 1.0 MA/cm2. This value of Jc0 is 2–3 times smaller than that of a single MgO insulating barrier MTJ structure and results from improvements in the spin-transfer torque efficiency. The asymmetry between JcAP→P and JcP→AP is significantly improved, which widens the read-write margin for memory device design. In addition, the experimental results show that the switching current density can be further reduced when an external field is applied along the hard axis of the free layer.
Applied Physics Letters 03/2007; 90(13):132508-132508-3. · 3.84 Impact Factor