Determination of thermal stability of magnetic tunnel junction using time-resolved single-shot measurement

C. T. Chao, C. Y. Kuo, Lance Horng, M. Tsunoda, M. Takahashi, J. C. Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Time-resolved single-shot measurement has been investigated to characterize switching times of the free layer in magnetic tunneling junctions (MTJs). In this study, a stacked MTJ film is patterned into an elongated, nano-scale device using standard electron beam lithography in conjunction with ion beam etching. Subsequently, current-induced magnetization switching is initiated using a single-shot measurement based on the time-domain transmission method. A current pulse with a duration of 50 ns is utilized to switch the magnetization configuration between parallel and anti-parallel states. After the pulse rises, the transmission profile shows a transition in which resistance varies. That is, the incubation time between pulse onset and resistance change represents the switching time of the free layer. The statistical distribution results of the switching times are obtained. The switching times are strongly dependent on current density and the external magnetic field. By fitting the data points using the Néel-Arrhenius law, the thermal stability factor Δ and intrinsic current density JC0 are also determined.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2276418
JournalIEEE Transactions on Magnetics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan


  • Current-induced magnetization switching (CIMS)
  • Magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ)
  • Time-resolved


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