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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Characterization of Magnetic Tunnel Junctions For Spin Transfer Torque Magnetic Random Access Memory

  • Author(s): Dill, Joshua
  • Advisor(s): Krivorotov, Ilya N
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

This thesis details two experimental methods for quantifying magnetic tunnel junction behavior, namely write error rates and field modulated spin-torque ferromagnetic resonance. The former examines how reliably an applied spin-transfer torque can excite magnetization dynamics that lead to a reversal of magnetization direction while the latter studies steady state dynamics provided by an oscillating spin-transfer torque. These characterization techniques reveal write error rate behavior for a particular composition magnetic tunnel junction that qualitatively deviates from theoretical predictions. Possible origins of this phenomenon are also investigated with the field modulated spin-torque ferromagnetic resonance technique. By understanding the dynamics of magnetic moments predicted by theory, one can experimentally confirm or disprove these theories in order to accurately model and predict tunnel junction behavior. By having a better model for what factors are important in magnetization dynamics, one can optimize these factors in terms of improving magnetic tunnel junctions for their use as computer memory.

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