Current-induced magnetization switching in exchange-biased spin valves for current-perpendicular-to-plane giant magnetoresistance heads

A. Deac, Kyoung Jin Lee, Y. Liu, O. Redon, M. Li, P. Wang, J. P. Nozières, B. Dieny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In contrast to earlier studies performed on simple Co Cu Co sandwiches, we have investigated spin-transfer effects in complex spin-valve pillars with a diameter of 130 nm developed for current-perpendicular-to-plane magnetoresistive heads. The structure of the samples included an exchange-biased synthetic pinned layer and a free layer, both laminated by insertion of several ultrathin Cu layers. Despite the small thickness of the polarizing layer, our results show that the free layer can be switched between the parallel (P) and the antiparallel (AP) states by applying current densities of the order of 107 A cm2. A strong asymmetry is observed between the two critical currents I c AP-P and Ic P-AP, as predicted by the model of Slonczewski. Due to the use of exchange-biased structures, the stability phase diagrams could be obtained in the four quadrants of the (H,I) plan. The critical lines derived from the magnetoresistance curves measured with different sense currents, and from the resistance versus current curves measured for different applied fields, match each other very well. The main features of the phase diagrams can be reproduced by investigating the stability of the solutions of the Landau-Lifshitz-Gilbert equation including a spin-torque term, within a macrospin model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number064414
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Volume73
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Mar 1
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Giant magnetoresistance
spin exchange
Induced currents
Phase diagrams
Magnetization
magnetization
Critical currents
Magnetoresistance
Current density
Torque
phase diagrams
quadrants
curves
torque
insertion
critical current
asymmetry
current density

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Current-induced magnetization switching in exchange-biased spin valves for current-perpendicular-to-plane giant magnetoresistance heads. / Deac, A.; Lee, Kyoung Jin; Liu, Y.; Redon, O.; Li, M.; Wang, P.; Nozières, J. P.; Dieny, B.

In: Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, Vol. 73, No. 6, 064414, 01.03.2006.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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