Tungsten pumps up STT-RAM
Categorie(s) : Industry, News, Research
Published : 5 February 2018
Researchers at INAC have substantially improved the properties of a magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) by inserting a layer of tungsten 0.2 nm to 0.3 nm thick into the MTJ’s upper electrode. Tungsten, a refractive material, is a good alternative to the tantalum currently used, ensuring thermal stability of the stack during annealing at temperatures up to 570 °C. This improves the junction’s crystallinity, tunnel magnetoresistance (by around 30%), and magnetic anisotropy and, thus, memory retention. MTJs are the basic building blocks of STT-RAM memory, which will benefit directly from this advance, opening up new opportunities for automotive applications with their operating temperature requirements of up to 150 °C.