Anomalous properties of sub-10-nm magnetic tunneling junctions

Mark Stone, Jeongmin Hong, Ali Hadjikhani, Rakesh Guduru, Adam Manoussakis, Emmanuel Stimphil, Kevin Luongo, Ping Liang, Vladimir Safonov, Jeffrey Bokor, Sakhrat Khizroev

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Magnetic logic devices have advantages of non-volatility, radiation hardness, scalability down to the sub-5-nm range, and three-dimensional (3D) integration capability. Despite these advantages, nanomagnetic applications for information processing are limited today. The main stumbling block is the inadequately high energy required to switch information states in the spin-based nanodevices. Recently, the spin-transfer torque (STT) effect has been introduced as a promising solution [1-2]. In STT magnetic tunneling junctions (MTJs), using a spin-polarized electric current to switch magnetic states has the potential to solve the energy problem. However, the switching current density on the order of 1 MA/cm2 in the current STT-MTJ devices, with the smallest reported to date characteristic cross-sectional size on the order of 10 nm, still remains inadequately high for enabling a wide range of information processing applications [3-4]. For the technology to be competitive in the near future, it is critical to show that it could be favorably scaled into the sub-10-nm range. On a positive note, due to a new physics in this previously poorly explored size range, nanomagnetic devices may display promising characteristics that can make them superior to their semiconductor counterparts. In this size range, the underlying spin physics is due to the surface as much as it is due the volume. As a result, the effective thermal reservoir that absorbs spin excitations is substantially reduced, which in turn leads to a reduced spin damping and consequently to a reduced switching current density. Hence, the current study to understand the junction size dependence of the spin switching current is timely. This paper presents the key results of this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2015 4th Berkeley Symposium on Energy Efficient Electronic Systems, E3S 2015 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781467385688
StatePublished - Nov 24 2015
Event4th Berkeley Symposium on Energy Efficient Electronic Systems, E3S 2015 - Berkeley, United States
Duration: Oct 1 2015Oct 2 2015

Publication series

Name2015 4th Berkeley Symposium on Energy Efficient Electronic Systems, E3S 2015 - Proceedings


Conference4th Berkeley Symposium on Energy Efficient Electronic Systems, E3S 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Current density
  • Damping
  • Junctions
  • Magnetic multilayers
  • Magnetic tunneling
  • Switches

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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