Shape anisotropy revisited in single-digit nanometer magnetic tunnel junctions

K. Watanabe, B. Jinnai, S. Fukami, H. Sato, H. Ohno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Citations (Scopus)


Nanoscale magnetic tunnel junctions play a pivotal role in magnetoresistive random access memories. Successful implementation depends on a simultaneous achievement of low switching current for the magnetization switching by spin transfer torque and high thermal stability, along with a continuous reduction of junction size. Perpendicular easy-axis CoFeB/MgO stacks possessing interfacial anisotropy have paved the way down to 20-nm scale, below which a new approach needs to be explored. Here we show magnetic tunnel junctions that satisfy the requirements at ultrafine scale by revisiting shape anisotropy, which is a classical part of magnetic anisotropy but has not been fully utilized in the current perpendicular systems. Magnetization switching solely driven by current is achieved for junctions smaller than 10 nm where sufficient thermal stability is provided by shape anisotropy without adopting new material systems. This work is expected to push forward the development of magnetic tunnel junctions toward single-digit nm-scale nano-magnetics/spintronics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number663
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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