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Spin-orbit torque engineering in beta-W/CoFeB heterostructures with W-Ta or W-V alloy layers between beta-W and CoFeB

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Abstract
The spin-orbit torque (SOT) resulting from a spin current generated in a nonmagnetic transition metal layer offers a promising magnetization switching mechanism for spintronic devices. To fully exploit this mechanism, in practice, materials with high SOT efficiencies are indispensable. Moreover, new materials need to be compatible with semiconductor processing. This study introduces W-Ta and W-V alloy layers between nonmagnetic beta-W and ferromagnetic CoFeB layers in beta-W/CoFeB/MgO/Ta heterostructures. We carry out first-principles band structure calculations for W-Ta and W-V alloy structures to estimate the spin Hall conductivity. While the predicted spin Hall conductivity values of W-Ta alloys decrease monotonically from -0.82 x 10(3) S/cm for W-100 at% as the Ta concentration increases, those of W-V alloys increase to -1.98 x 10(3) S/cm for W75V25 at% and then gradually decrease. Subsequently, we measure the spin Hall conductivities of both alloys. Experimentally, when beta-W is alloyed with 20 at% V, the absolute value of the spin Hall conductivity considerably increases by 36% compared to that of the pristine beta-W. We confirm that the W-V alloy also improves the SOT switching efficiency by approximately 40% compared to that of pristine beta-W. This study demonstrates a new material that can act as a spin current-generating layer, leading to energy-efficient spintronic devices.

Spintronics: Modified alloys boost energy efficiency Changes to materials used in spintronics, an emerging magnetic memory technology, can reduce the energy costs associated with manipulating electron spin. When an electron from a nonmagnetic metal travels into a thin magnetic film, a twisting force known as the spin-orbit torque can emerge. Findings from researchers led by Young Keun Kim, Korea University, Seoul, and Sonny Rhim, University of Ulsan, Ulsan, Korea, may make it easier to use spin-orbit torque to switch between the on/off states of magnetic memory devices. Through a combination of theory and experiment, the team found that the nonmagnetic metal alloys played a key role in torque generation. An optimized heterostructure with an alloy film based on tungsten and smaller amounts of vanadium boosted torque-based switching efficiency by 40 percent compared to those with pristine tungsten films.

Based on the first-principles calculation on the beta-W based alloy structure using Ta and V, we have introduced the W-Ta and W-V alloy in between the beta-W/CoFeB layer. Through the harmonic response method, we confirmed that experimentally obtained spin-Hall conductivity has fairly similar alloy compositional dependence with the theoretically calculated one. Particularly, when W80V20 alloy was placed at the beta-W/CoFeB layer, the spin Hall conductivity reached (-2.77 +/- 0.31) x 10(3) S/cm, which enhanced over 36% compared to the pristine beta-W/CoFeB/MgO heterostructure.
Author(s)
김규원도 둑 꾸옹김용진차인호김태현이민혁이억재백헌석홍순철임성현김영근
Issued Date
2021
Type
Article
Keyword
spin-orbit torquespin Hall effect
DOI
10.1038/s41427-021-00326-8
URI
https://oak.ulsan.ac.kr/handle/2021.oak/9524
https://ulsan-primo.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=TN_cdi_crossref_primary_10_1038_s41427_021_00326_8&context=PC&vid=ULSAN&lang=ko_KR&search_scope=default_scope&adaptor=primo_central_multiple_fe&tab=default_tab&query=any,contains,Spin-orbit%20torque%20engineering%20in%20beta-W%2FCoFeB%20heterostructures%20with%20W-Ta%20or%20W-V%20alloy%20layers%20between%20beta-W%20and%20CoFeB&offset=0&pcAvailability=true
Publisher
NPG ASIA MATERIALS
Location
독일
Language
영어
ISSN
1884-4049
Citation Volume
13
Citation Number
1
Citation Start Page
60
Citation End Page
60
Appears in Collections:
Natural Science > Physics
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