Electric-field control of strain-mediated magnetoelectric random access memory

Jia Mian Hu, Zheng Li, Jing Wang, C. W. Nan

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A strain-mediated magnetoelectric random access memory with electric-field-writing is presented, which consists of a magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) in intimate contact with a ferroelectric (FE) layer. The calculations show that the magnetization vector in the free layer of the MTJ unit can switch in-plane by 90°upon applying an appropriate electric field to the FE layer, as compared to the common 180°reversal induced by magnetic field or spin-current. A perfect interface between the FE layer and the MTJ is assumed. The free layers used for illustration include either (001)-oriented or polycrystalline magnetic films of Fe-Co alloy, CoFe2 O4 (CFO), Ni, and Fe3 O4. Among them, the (001)-oriented FeCo and CFO films with positive magnetocrystalline anisotropy constant (i.e., K1 >0) show an abrupt magnetization switching, while a gradual magnetization switching takes place in the (001)-oriented Ni and Fe3 O4 films with K1 <0 as well as the polycrystalline films. Such electric-field-induced in-plane magnetization switching can result in a remarkable change in the MTJ's electric resistance. In particular, hysteretic dependence of the device resistance on the applied electric field is obtained for the cases of the (001)-oriented FeCo and CFO free layers that exhibit the abrupt magnetization switching, whereby a nonvolatile information storage process can be achieved. The influence of the shape of the free layer on both magnetization and resistance switching features is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number093912
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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