Direct characterization of spin-transfer switching of nano-scale magnetic tunnel junctions using a conductive atomic force microscope

Jia Mou Lee, Dong Chin Yang, Ching Ming Lee, Lin Xiu Ye, Yao Jen Chang, Yen Chi Lee, Jong-Ching Wu, Te Ho Wu

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2 Citations (Scopus)


We present an alternative method of spin-transfer-induced magnetization switching for magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) using a conductive atomic force microscope (CAFM) with pulsed current. The nominal MTJ cells' dimensions were 200 × 400 nm2. The AFM probes were coated with a Pt layer via sputtering to withstand up to several milliamperes. The pulsed current measurements, with pulse duration varying from 5 to 300 ms, revealed a magnetoresistance ratio of up to 120%, and an estimated intrinsic switching current density, based on the thermal activation model, of 3.94 MA cm -2. This method demonstrates the potential skill to characterize nanometre-scale magnetic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number175002
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2013 May 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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