Enhancement of Switching Property of Perpendicular- Magnetic Tunnel Junctions Using Single MgO Based Co2Fe6B2 Double Free Layer Structure

Monday, 2 October 2017: 15:40
Chesapeake D (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)


Recently, perpendicular-spin-transfer torque magnetic random access memory (p-STT MRAM) has received considerable attention as the next-generation memory referred from its pre-eminent characteristics. It has high speed writing and reading property like dynamic random access memory (DRAM) with an additional property of non-volatility. Furthermore, it also has stable endurance (> 1014), less electric energy consumption to maintain its data (~1 pJ/bit) and high scalability. Because of these properties, p-STT MRAM has been considered to be the universal memory that can replace other memories in the market. However, it is difficult to be commercialized due to many critical issues of device parameters i.e., the tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR) ratio, thermal stability (Δ), and switching current density (JC). In particular, theses three device parameters should be achieved at 400oC temperature of the back-end of line (BEOL) to be manufactured into the market. To gain a reputation as a non-volatile memory at the market, p-STT MRAM needed low switching current density for low-power operating device.

In our research, we investigated new MTJ structure using single MgO based double Co2Fe6B2free layers separated by a W spacer layer (See Fig.1) for low current switching.

Samples were made by utilizing 12-inch multi-chamber magnetron sputtering system and magnetic vacuum oven. After sputtering process, samples were ex-situ annealed at 350 or 400oC under a perpendicular magnetic field of 3T for 30 minutes.

Figure 2 shows the switching voltage of anti-parallel state to parallel state (AP-P) and parallel state to anti-parallel state (P-AP) on I-V measurement. The switching voltage of AP-P and P-AP at newly double free layer decreased about 3.8 and 5.2% respectively, compared with the conventional free layer. This means that upper Co2Fe6B2 free layer had an influence for the lower Co2Fe6B2 free layer, therefor the lower Co2Fe6B2free-layer easily switched to perpendicular direction by in-plane magnetic anisotropy (IMA) magnetic resonance coupling.

In our presentation, we will present the switching property of Co2Fe6B2 double free layer for p-MTJs and review the switching mechanism for IMA magnetic resonance coupling by using IV measurement. In addition, we review the magnetic properties, atomic composition and TMR ratio, by using vibrating-sampling-magnetometer (VSM), Secondary-Ion-Mass-Spectrometry (SIMS), current-in–plane-tunneling (CIPT) measurement respectively.

* This work was supported by a Basic Science Research Program grant from the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Korean government (MSIP) (No. 2014R1A2A1A01006474) and the Brain Korea 21 PLUS Program in 2014.