Keywordsbuffer and capping
Magnetic tunnel junction
perpendicular magnetic anisotropy
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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EmbargoRelease after 1-Jun-2018
AbstractSpintronics discusses about fundamental physics and material science in mostly nanometer size structures. Spintronics also delivers many promising technologies for now and the future. One of the interesting spintronic structures is called “Magnetic Tunnel junction” (MTJ). A typical MTJ consists of a thin (1-3nm) insulator layer sandwiched between two ferromagnetic layers. In this work, I present MTJ with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA) using an MgO tunnel barrier. The effect of different heavy metals (HMs) adjacent to the ferromagnets (FMs) on tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR) and PMA of the junctions are discussed. Namely, Ta, Mo, Ta/Mo, W, Ir, and Hf have been utilized in HM/FM/MgO structures, and magneto-transport properties are explored. It is shown that when Ta/Mo is employed, TMR values as high as 208%, and highly thermally stable PMA can be obtained. Some physical explanation based on electronic band structure and thermochemical effects are discussed. In the last part of this work, the newly discovered tunneling anisotropic magnetoresistance (TAMR) effect in antiferromagnets is studied, and clear TAMR is demonstrated for NiFe/IrMn/MgO/Ta structures.
Degree ProgramGraduate College