This is an interesting book that gives a deep introduction to and explanation of the physics behind spintronics and magnetic properties of materials used in magnetic random-access memories (MRAMs). It gathers the theoretical concepts of magnetism along with the technological developments of electronic devices for memory and storage applications. It is mainly intended for graduate students, microelectronics/materials engineers, and researchers working on magnetic memory devices.
The book is structured in three parts. The first two chapters are focused on spintronic transport phenomena and magnetic materials used for storage and memory devices. Chapter 1 introduces spintronics and the magnetoresistance effect, presenting the quantum formalism required to describe both giant magnetoresistance and tunneling magnetoresistance phenomena. Chapter 2 discusses properties of the materials used in magnetic tunnel junctions for MRAM devices.
The second part provides a more in-depth introduction to the theory of magnetism, how it can be sensed and developed in nanostructured materials, and the main concepts required to understand magnetic storage and memory devices.
The third part, consisting of the last three chapters, is dedicated to nonvolatile magnetic memory devices, covering the evolution, integration, and compatibility with complementary metal oxide semiconductor circuitry, as well as future perspectives beyond MRAM. Chapter 5 presents a historical overview of the evolution of MRAMs and different types of structures used in magnetic nonvolatile memory devices, comparing them in terms of fabrication and operational properties. The different functions that each memory device should address, such as storage, read/write process retention, and endurance, are detailed. Chapter 6 discusses the integration of MRAM focusing on back-end technology. Chapter 7 considers the circuitry challenges of combining these spintronic components with memory and logic circuits.
This is a well-structured book, full of information and with brief introductions, which allows the reader to easily identify the content and purpose of each chapter. It contains many figures but few tables. The bibliography is suitable, although it lacks recent works. It is not sufficient as a textbook because of inadequate problems and homework sets; instead, it is meant as a reference tool for researchers and engineers looking for a working knowledge of magnetic memory devices.
Reviewer: Joana Vaz Pinto is an assistant professor at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal.