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1.
Nano Lett ; 19(5): 3019-3026, 2019 05 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30933564

RESUMO

Study of resonant tunneling through multimetallic quantum well (QW) structure is not only important for the fundamental understanding of quantum transport but also for the great potential to generate advanced functionalities of spintronic devices. However, it remains challenging to engineer such a structure due to the short electron phase coherence length in metallic QW system. Here, we demonstrate the successful fabrication of double-QW structure in a single fully epitaxial magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) heterostructure, where two Fe QW layers are sandwiched between three MgAlO x tunnel barriers. We show clear evidence of the coherent resonant tunneling through the discrete QW states in the two QWs. The coherent resonant tunneling condition is fulfilled only when the middle barrier between the two QWs is thin enough and available QW states are present simultaneously in both QWs under a certain bias. Compared to the single QW structure, the resonant tunneling in double-QW MTJ produces strong conductivity oscillations with much narrower peak width (about half) owing to the enhanced energy filtering effect. This study presents a comprehensive understanding of the resonant tunneling mechanism in MTJ with multiple QWs, which is essential for future development of new spintronic devices operating in the quantum tunneling regime.

2.
Sci Rep ; 8(1): 12356, 2018 Aug 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30120368

RESUMO

Using first-principles calculations, we demonstrate several approaches to control Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya Interaction (DMI) in ultrathin films with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy. First, we find that DMI is significantly enhanced when the ferromagnetic (FM) layer is sandwiched between nonmagnetic (NM) layers inducing additive DMI in NM1/FM/NM2 structures. For instance, when two NM layers are chosen to induce DMI of opposite chirality in Co, e.g. NM1 representing Au, Ir, Al or Pb, and NM2 being Pt, the resulting DMI in NM1/Co/Pt trilayers is enhanced compared to Co/Pt bilayers. Moreover, DMI can be significantly enhanced further in case of using FM layer comprising Fe and Co layers. Namely, it is found that the DMI in Ir/Fe/Co/Pt structure can be enhanced by 80% compared to that of Co/Pt bilayers reaching a very large DMI amplitude of 5.59 meV/atom. Our second approach for enhancing DMI is to use oxide capping layer. We show that DMI is enhanced by 60% in Oxide/Co/Pt structures compared to Co/Pt bilayers. Moreover, we unveiled the DMI mechanism at Oxide/Co interface due to Rashba effect, which is different to Fert-Levy DMI at FM/NM interfaces. Finally, we demonstrate that DMI amplitude can be modulated using an electric field with an efficiency factor comparable to that of the electric field control of perpendicular magnetic anisotropy in transition metal/oxide interfaces. These approaches of DMI controlling pave the way for skyrmion and domain wall motion-based spintronic applications.

3.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 10(36): 30614-30622, 2018 Sep 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30125490

RESUMO

The ferroelectric control of spin-polarization at ferromagnet (FM)/ferroelectric organic (FE-Org) interface by electrically switching the ferroelectric polarization of the FE-Org has been recently realized in the organic multiferroic tunnel junctions (OMFTJs) and gained intensive interests for future multifunctional organic spintronic applications. Here, we report the evidence of ferroelectric "ailing-channel" in the organic barrier, which can effectively pin the ferroelectric domain, resulting in nonswitchable spin polarization at the FM/FE-Org interface. In particular, OMFTJs based on La0.6Sr0.4MnO3/P(VDF-TrFE) ( t)/Co/Au structures with different P(VDF-TrFE) thickness ( t) were fabricated. The combined advanced electron microscopy and spectroscopy studies clearly reveal that very limited Co diffusion exists in the P(VDF-TrFE) organic barrier when the Au/Co electrode is deposited around 80K. Pot-hole structures at the boundary between the P(VDF-TrFE) needle-like grains are evidenced to induce "ailing-channels" that hinder efficient ferroelectric polarization of the organic barrier and result in the quenching of the spin polarization switching at Co/P(VDF-TrFE) interface. Furthermore, the spin diffusion length in the negatively polarized P(VDF-TrFE) is measured to be about 7.2 nm at 20K. The evidence of the mechanism of ferroelectric "ailing-channels" is of essential importance to improve the performance of OMFTJ and master the key condition for an efficient ferroelectric control of the spin polarization of "spinterface".

4.
Sci Rep ; 8(1): 9463, 2018 Jun 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29930248

RESUMO

The observation of perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA) at MgO/Fe interfaces boosted the development of spintronic devices based on ultrathin ferromagnetic layers. Yet, magnetization reversal in the standard magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) with competing PMA and in-plane anisotropies remains unclear. Here we report on the field induced nonvolatile broken symmetry magnetization reorientation transition from the in-plane to the perpendicular (out of plane) state at temperatures below 50 K. The samples were 10 nm thick Fe in MgO/Fe(100)/MgO as stacking components of V/MgO/Fe/MgO/Fe/Co double barrier MTJs with an area of 20 × 20 µm2. Micromagnetic simulations with PMA and different second order anisotropies at the opposite Fe/MgO interfaces qualitatively reproduce the observed broken symmetry spin reorientation transition. Our findings open the possibilities to develop multistate epitaxial spintronics based on competing magnetic anisotropies.

5.
Nano Lett ; 18(8): 4871-4877, 2018 08 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29924621

RESUMO

Electric control of magnetism is a prerequisite for efficient and low-power spintronic devices. More specifically, in heavy metal-ferromagnet-insulator heterostructures, voltage gating has been shown to locally and dynamically tune magnetic properties such as interface anisotropy and saturation magnetization. However, its effect on interfacial Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya Interaction (DMI), which is crucial for the stability of magnetic skyrmions, has been challenging to achieve and has not been reported yet for ultrathin films. Here, we demonstrate a 130% variation of DMI with electric field in Ta/FeCoB/TaO x trilayer through Brillouin Light Spectroscopy (BLS). Using polar magneto-optical Kerr-effect microscopy, we further show a monotonic variation of DMI and skyrmionic bubble size with electric field with an unprecedented efficiency. We anticipate through our observations that a sign reversal of DMI with an electric field is possible, leading to a chirality switch. This dynamic manipulation of DMI establishes an additional degree of control to engineer programmable skyrmion-based memory or logic devices.

6.
Nat Mater ; 17(7): 605-609, 2018 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29807987

RESUMO

The possibility of utilizing the rich spin-dependent properties of graphene has attracted much attention in the pursuit of spintronics advances. The promise of high-speed and low-energy-consumption devices motivates the search for layered structures that stabilize chiral spin textures such as topologically protected skyrmions. Here we demonstrate that chiral spin textures are induced at graphene/ferromagnetic metal interfaces. Graphene is a weak spin-orbit coupling material and is generally not expected to induce a sufficient Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction to affect magnetic chirality. We demonstrate that indeed graphene does induce a type of Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction due to the Rashba effect. First-principles calculations and experiments using spin-polarized electron microscopy show that this graphene-induced Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction can have a similar magnitude to that at interfaces with heavy metals. This work paves a path towards two-dimensional-material-based spin-orbitronics.

7.
Phys Rev Lett ; 120(17): 176802, 2018 Apr 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29756815

RESUMO

A complete set of the generalized drift-diffusion equations for a coupled charge and spin dynamics in ferromagnets in the presence of extrinsic spin-orbit coupling is derived from the quantum kinetic approach, covering major transport phenomena, such as the spin and anomalous Hall effects, spin swapping, spin precession, and relaxation processes. We argue that the spin swapping effect in ferromagnets is enhanced due to spin polarization, while the overall spin texture induced by the interplay of spin-orbital and spin precession effects displays a complex spatial dependence that can be exploited to generate torques and nucleate or propagate domain walls in centrosymmetric geometries without the use of external polarizers, as opposed to the conventional understanding of spin-orbit mediated torques.

8.
J Phys Condens Matter ; 29(49): 495302, 2017 Dec 13.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29091045

RESUMO

Using model calculations, we demonstrate a very high level of control of the spin-transfer torque (STT) by electric field in multiferroic tunnel junctions with composite dielectric/ferroelectric barriers. We find that, for particular device parameters, toggling the polarization direction can switch the voltage-induced part of STT between a finite value and a value close to zero, i.e. quench and release the torque. Additionally, we demonstrate that under certain conditions the zero-voltage STT, i.e. the interlayer exchange coupling, can switch sign with polarization reversal, which is equivalent to reversing the magnetic ground state of the tunnel junction. This bias- and polarization-tunability of the STT could be exploited to engineer novel functionalities such as softening/hardening of the bit or increasing the signal-to-noise ratio in magnetic sensors, which can have important implications for magnetic random access memories or for combined memory and logic devices.

10.
Phys Rev Lett ; 118(21): 219901, 2017 May 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28598656

RESUMO

This corrects the article DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.267210.

11.
Adv Mater ; 28(46): 10204-10210, 2016 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27709711

RESUMO

Organic multiferroic tunnel junctions based on La0.6 Sr0.4 MnO3 /poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF)/Co structures are fabricated. The tunneling magneto-resistance sign can be changed by electrically switching the ferroelectric polarization of PVDF barrier. It is demonstrated that the spin-polarization of the PVDF/Co spinterface can be actively controlled by tuning the ferroelectric polarization of PVDF. This study opens new functionality in controlling the injection of spin polarization into organic materials via the ferroelectric polarization of the barrier.

12.
Nat Nanotechnol ; 11(5): 449-54, 2016 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26809057

RESUMO

Magnetic skyrmions are chiral spin structures with a whirling configuration. Their topological properties, nanometre size and the fact that they can be moved by small current densities have opened a new paradigm for the manipulation of magnetization at the nanoscale. Chiral skyrmion structures have so far been experimentally demonstrated only in bulk materials and in epitaxial ultrathin films, and under an external magnetic field or at low temperature. Here, we report on the observation of stable skyrmions in sputtered ultrathin Pt/Co/MgO nanostructures at room temperature and zero external magnetic field. We use high lateral resolution X-ray magnetic circular dichroism microscopy to image their chiral Néel internal structure, which we explain as due to the large strength of the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction as revealed by spin wave spectroscopy measurements. Our results are substantiated by micromagnetic simulations and numerical models, which allow the identification of the physical mechanisms governing the size and stability of the skyrmions.

13.
Nano Lett ; 16(1): 145-51, 2016 Jan 13.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26641927

RESUMO

We report strongly enhanced perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA) of Co films by graphene coating from both first-principles and experiments. Our calculations show that graphene can dramatically boost the surface anisotropy of Co films up to twice the value of its pristine counterpart and can extend the out-of-plane effective anisotropy up to unprecedented thickness of 25 Å. These findings are supported by our experiments on graphene coating on Co films grown on Ir substrate. Furthermore, we report layer-resolved and orbital-hybridization-resolved anisotropy analysis, which help understanding of the physical mechanisms of PMA and more practically can help design structures with giant PMA. As an example, we propose superexchange stabilized Co-graphene heterostructures with a robust constant effective PMA and linearly increasing interfacial anisotropy as a function of film thickness. These findings point toward possibilities to engineer graphene/ferromagnetic metal heterostructures with giant magnetic anisotropy more than 20-times larger compared to conventional multilayers, which constitutes a hallmark for future graphene and traditional spintronic technologies.

14.
Sci Rep ; 5: 18173, 2015 Dec 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26656721

RESUMO

Spin-transfer-torque magnetic random access memory (STT-MRAM) attracts extensive attentions due to its non-volatility, high density and low power consumption. The core device in STT-MRAM is CoFeB/MgO-based magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ), which possesses a high tunnel magnetoresistance ratio as well as a large value of perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA). It has been experimentally proven that a capping layer coating on CoFeB layer is essential to obtain a strong PMA. However, the physical mechanism of such effect remains unclear. In this paper, we investigate the origin of the PMA in MgO/CoFe/metallic capping layer structures by using a first-principles computation scheme. The trend of PMA variation with different capping materials agrees well with experimental results. We find that interfacial PMA in the three-layer structures comes from both the MgO/CoFe and CoFe/capping layer interfaces, which can be analyzed separately. Furthermore, the PMAs in the CoFe/capping layer interfaces are analyzed through resolving the magnetic anisotropy energy by layer and orbital. The variation of PMA with different capping materials is attributed to the different hybridizations of both d and p orbitals via spin-orbit coupling. This work can significantly benefit the research and development of nanoscale STT-MRAM.

15.
Phys Rev Lett ; 115(26): 267210, 2015 Dec 31.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26765026

RESUMO

The Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction (DMI) has been recently recognized to play a crucial role in allowing fast domain wall dynamics driven by spin-orbit torques and the generation of magnetic Skyrmions. Here, we unveil the main features and microscopic mechanisms of DMI in Co/Pt bilayers via first principles calculations. We find that the large DMI of the bilayers has a dominant contribution from the spins of the interfacial Co layer. This DMI between the interfacical Co spins extends very weakly away from the interface and is associated with a spin-orbit coupling in the adjacent atomic layer of Pt. Furthermore, no direct correlation is found between DMI and proximity induced magnetism in Pt. These results clarify the underlying mechanisms of DMI at interfaces between ferromagnetic and heavy metals and should help optimizing material combinations for domain wall and Skyrmion-based devices.

16.
J Phys Condens Matter ; 25(49): 496005, 2013 Dec 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24195845

RESUMO

The transport properties of magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) are very sensitive to interface modifications. In this work we investigate both experimentally and theoretically the effect of asymmetric barrier modifications on the bias dependence of tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR) in single crystal Fe/MgO-based MTJs with (i) one crystalline and one rough interface, and (ii) with a monolayer of O deposited at the crystalline interface. In both cases we observe an asymmetric bias dependence of TMR and a reversal of its sign at large bias. We propose a general model to explain the bias dependence in these and similar systems reported earlier. The model predicts the existence of two distinct TMR regimes: (i) a tunneling regime when the interface is modified with layers of a different insulator, and (ii) a resonant regime when thin metallic layers are inserted at the interface. We demonstrate that in the tunneling regime, negative TMR is due to the high voltage which overcomes the exchange splitting in the electrodes, while the asymmetric bias dependence of TMR is due to the interface transmission probabilities. In the resonant regime, inversion of TMR could happen at zero voltage depending on the alignment of the resonance levels with the Fermi surfaces of the electrodes. Moreover, the model predicts a regime in which TMR has different signs at positive and negative bias, suggesting possibilities of combining memory with logic functions.

17.
Phys Rev Lett ; 97(23): 237205, 2006 Dec 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-17280241

RESUMO

We predict an anomalous bias dependence of the spin transfer torque parallel to the interface, Tparallel, in magnetic tunnel junctions, which can be selectively tuned by the exchange splitting. It may exhibit a sign reversal without a corresponding sign reversal of the bias or even a quadratic bias dependence. We demonstrate that the underlying mechanism is the interplay of spin currents for the ferromagnetic (antiferromagnetic) configurations, which vary linearly (quadratically) with bias, respectively, due to the symmetric (asymmetric) nature of the barrier. The spin transfer torque perpendicular to interface exhibits a quadratic bias dependence.

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