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The world's smallest high-performance magnetic tunnel junction

Date:
December 8, 2020
Source:
Tohoku University
Summary:
A research group has developed the world's smallest (2.3 nm) high-performance magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs). This work is expected to accelerate the advancement of ultrahigh-density, low-power, high-performance non-volatile memory for a variety of applications, such as IoT, AI, and automobiles.
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A research group from Tohoku University led by current president Hideo Ohno has developed the world's smallest (2.3 nm) high-performance magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs). This work is expected to accelerate the advancement of ultrahigh-density, low-power, high-performance non-volatile memory for a variety of applications, such as IoT, AI, and automobiles.

The development of STT-MRAM -- non-volatile spintronics memory -- helps reduce the increasing power consumption in semiconductor device scaling. Crucial to integrating STT-MRAM in advanced integrated circuits is scaling magnetic tunnel junction -- a core component of STT-MRAM -- while improving its performance in data retention and write operation.

Shape-anisotropy MTJ, proposed by the same group in 2018, has shown MTJ scaling down to single-digit nanometers while achieving sufficient data-retention (thermal-stability) properties. In the shape-anisotropy MTJ, thermal stability is enhanced by making the ferromagnetic layer thick. Once the thickness goes beyond a certain point, however, device reliability becomes degraded.

To address the issue in the conventional shape-anisotropy MTJ with a single ferromagnetic structure, the group employed a new structure that uses magnetostatically coupled multilayered ferromagnets. The developed MTJs were successfully scaled down to 2.3 nm in diameter -the world's smallest MTJ size. They also exhibited high data retention properties up to 200°C and high-speed and low-voltage write operation down to 10 ns below 1 V at a single-digit-nanometer scale.

"The performance proves the developed MTJs' capability to work with the future-generation advanced integrated circuits," said Butsurin Jinnai, first author of the study. "Because of its material compatibility with the standard MTJ material system, CoFeB/MgO, the proposed MTJ structure can be easily adopted in existing MTJ technology." The group believes that this will speed up the development of ultrahigh-density, low-power, high-performance memory for a variety of applications, such as IoT, AI, and automobiles.


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Materials provided by Tohoku University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Cite This Page:

Tohoku University. "The world's smallest high-performance magnetic tunnel junction." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 December 2020. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/12/201208111434.htm>.
Tohoku University. (2020, December 8). The world's smallest high-performance magnetic tunnel junction. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 18, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/12/201208111434.htm
Tohoku University. "The world's smallest high-performance magnetic tunnel junction." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/12/201208111434.htm (accessed June 18, 2024).

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