Large reduction in switching current driven by spin-orbit torque in W/CoFeB heterostructures with W–N interfacial layers

Yong Jin Kim, Min Hyeok Lee, Gyu Won Kim, Taehyun Kim, In Ho Cha, Quynh Anh T. Nguyen, Sonny H. Rhim, Young Keun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Injecting an electrical current into a nonmagnetic layer toward the in-plane direction can reverse the magnetization direction of an adjacent ferromagnetic layer in a nonmagnet/ferromagnet heterostructure via spin-orbit torque (SOT). One of the most critical issues for memory and logic device applications is to reduce the critical current to assure low energy consumption. Herein, we report both enhanced SOT efficiency and reduced SOT-induced switching current in perpendicularly magnetized W/CoFeB heterostructures, where ultrathin tungsten nitride (W–N) layers with various N-compositions and thicknesses are placed in between W and CoFeB layers. The composition of the W–N layers affects the microstructure and, therefore, the electrical properties. The measured SOT efficiency is 0.54, and the switching current reduces to approximately one-fifth of its original value in the 0.2-nm-thick W–N layer sample containing 42 at% N. Our results suggest interface engineering is a practical approach to reduce switching current.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-558
Number of pages8
JournalActa Materialia
Volume200
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Nov

Keywords

  • Interface
  • Microstructure
  • Spin-orbit torque
  • Switching current
  • W–N layer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Large reduction in switching current driven by spin-orbit torque in W/CoFeB heterostructures with W–N interfacial layers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this