Spintronics: diffusion barriers make cooperation easier

Categorie(s) : MINATEC, News, Research

Published : 3 February 2014

To optimize the magnetic coupling in memory-type spintronic systems, the ferromagnetic (FM) and antiferromagnetic (AFM) parts must be very close to each other. Surprisingly, researchers at Spintec achieved a jump in performance by doing the opposite when they separated the FM and AFM parts with a diffusion barrier.
Their unexpected results can be explained by the fact that the barrier—just a few nanometers thick—prevents the diffusion of atoms into the FM/AFM interface, an undesirable phenomenon that could be the culprit of malfunctions at certain memory points. Significantly reducing this phenomenon more than offsets the effects of increasing the distance between the FM and AFM parts.
In related news, the researchers also developed a versatile method for quantitatively measuring the magnetic quality of the FM/AFM interface in lab conditions.

Contact: vincent.baltz@cea.fr



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