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Materials for spin-transfer-torque magnetoresistive random-access memory

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 May 2018

Shinji Yuasa
Affiliation:
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Spintronics Research Center, Japan; yuasa-s@aist.go.jp
Kazuhiro Hono
Affiliation:
Research Center for Magnetic and Spintronic Materials, National Institute for Materials Science, Japan; kazuhiro.hono@nims.go.jp
Guohan Hu
Affiliation:
IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, USA; hug@us.ibm.com
Daniel C. Worledge
Affiliation:
IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, USA; worledge@us.ibm.com
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Abstract

Spin-transfer-torque magnetoresistive random-access memory (STT-MRAM) is an emerging nonvolatile memory that uses magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) to store information. MTJs with a crystalline MgO(001) tunnel barrier sandwiched between ferromagnetic layers, such as CoFeB, exhibit giant tunnel magnetoresistance, which is used to readout the STT-MRAM. Writing of STT-MRAM is based on current-induced magnetization reversal, called STT switching. STT-MRAM with perpendicular magnetization is especially important for high-density and low-power-consuming memory applications such as embedded memory for large-scale integrated circuit. For STT-MRAM to replace ultrahigh-density dynamic random-access memory, however, there are still technological challenges concerning the materials and fabrication processes of MTJs. This article reviews the physics and materials science of MTJs for STT-MRAM. We also discuss the importance of new MTJ materials and processes for next-generation ultrahigh-density MRAM.

Type
Materials for Advanced Semiconductor Memories
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2018 

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