Effects of synthetic antiferromagnetic coupling on back-hopping of spin-transfer torque devices

Kuan-Ming Chen, Chih-Wei Cheng, Jeng-Hua Wei, Yu-Chen Hsin, Yuan-Chieh Tseng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A synthetic antiferromagnetic (SAF) layer is a key component in spin-transfer torque magneto-resistive random-access memory devices. This study reveals that slight fluctuations in SAF coupling at the margin of the reference layer and hard layer (i.e., concurrent reversal) can lead to write errors in the form of back-hopping (BH). It appears that variable BH behavior can be attributed to competition between antiparallel (AP) -> parallel (P) and P -> AP transitions associated with SAF coupling. Our conclusions are supported by careful analysis of switching phase diagrams and measurements of self-heating and voltage-controlled magnetic anisotropy. We also observed that one form of coupling provided higher perpendicular magnetic anisotropic energy and thermal stability, which is likely due to the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction (DMI) effect. Thus, minimizing variations in DMI by optimizing SAF coupling is crucial for minimizing write error rates.

Original languageEnglish
Article number072405
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 2020


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