Detection of thermal spin-transfer torque with ferromagnetic resonance technique utilizing a metallic microresonator

Detection of thermal spin-transfer torque with ferromagnetic resonance technique utilizing a metallic microresonator

Kowalska, E.; Banholzer, A.; Fowley, C.; Sluka, V.; Aleksandrov, Y.; Grebing, J.; Lindner, J.; Fassbender, J.; Deac, A. M.

The revolution in mobile Information-Communication Technology (ICT) devices evident today is based on three principal trends: (i) constant miniaturization for increased portability; (ii) exponential increase in the volume of data stored and transmitted; and (iii) reduced power consumption for extended autonomy and Green-ICT applications. Currently, ICT devices are based on semiconductor technology, which has been experiencing a tremendous increase in performance and density, following a continuous miniaturization trend known as Moore’s law. Nevertheless, semiconductor technology faces severe limitations on the time horizon 2019 and beyond [1]. Indeed, as the gate length of semiconductor transistors shrinks below the design rule of 20 nm, leakage currents considerably reduce their performance, thereby calling for a new generation of alternative approaches: the so-called “More than Moore” technologies. One such approach having so far demonstrated great promise focuses on spin-transfer devices, which exploit the spin degree of freedom of the conduction electrons in order to manipulate their electronic properties. A variety of applications are being explored in this context, including non-volatile memory and wireless communication, with some being close to commercialization [2].
An even more recent research area: spincaloritronics, which aims at investigating new phenomena that can enable inherently generated Joule heating to be functionalized in microelectronic circuit design, bringing about a new generation of Green-ICT devices. Indeed, it has been theoretically predicted and demonstrated that temperature gradients can induce spin-currents and spin-accumulation in ferromagnets (known as the spin-Seebeck effect) [3], as well as tunneling between two magnetic layers separated by an insulator (magneto-Seebeck effect) [3], spin-injection from a ferromagnet to a semiconductor (spin Seebeck tunneling) [4] and so on. It has also been suggested that spin currents generated by temperature gradients in magnetic tunnel junctions can induce spin-transfer torques large enough to cause switching [3], although experimental evidence remains elusive.
This proposal focuses on fundamental research aimed at experimentally demonstrating that thermal gradients can generate spin-transfer torques in MgO-based magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs). Specifically, we propose a novel approach which will allow us to provide proof-of-concept even if the magnitude of the torques that can be realistically achieved is considerably lower than predicted theoretically.
[3] G.E.W. Bauer, E. Saitoh and B.J. van Wees, Nature Mater. 11, 391 (2012) and references therein.
[4] R. Jansen, Nature Mater. 11, 400 (2012) and references therein.

Keywords: spin caloritronics; ferromagnetic resonance; micro-resonators

  • Poster
    SpinCaloritronics VI, School & Conference, 14.-18.07.2014, Irsee, Germany

Publ.-Id: 21404