Fabrication and Characterization of Nanocontact Spin-Torque Oscillators
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
The manufacturing of nanocontact-based spin-torque oscillators (NC-STOs)has opened the door for spintronic devices to play a part as active microwaveelements. The NC-STO has the capability of converting a direct current intoa microwave signal, and vice versa, by utilizing the spin transfer torque (STT)in ferromagnetic multilayer systems. However, the high-frequency operation ofNC-STOs typically requires high magnetic fields and the microwave power theygenerate is rather limited. As a result, NC-STOs are not yet commercially used,and they require improvements in both material systems and device geometriesbefore they can find actual use in microwave applications.
In order to improve and advance this technology, NC-STOs are requiredwith both different nanocontact (NC) sizes and geometries, and using differ- ent stacks of magnetic materials. This dissertation presents experimental in- vestigations into the manufacturing of such devices using different fabrication techniques and a number of different magnetic material stacks. Currently, the fabrication of NC-STOs is limited to advanced laboratories, because NC fabri- cation requires high-resolution lithography tools. In the present work, we have developed an alternative method of fabrication, which does not require such tools and has the capability of fabricating NC-STOs having one to hundreds of NCs in a variety of sizes, possibly down to 20 nm. Devices fabricated with this method have shown mutual synchronization of three parallel-connected NCs, and pairwise synchronization in devices with four and five NCs.
Furthermore, the present work demonstrates low-field operation (down to0.02 Tesla) of NC-STOs at a record high frequency of 12 GHz. This wasachieved by implementing multilayers with a perpendicular magnetic anisotropy(PMA) material in the free layer of the NC-STO. In addition, the fabricateddevices revealed an unexpected dynamic regime under large external appliedfield (above 0.4 Tesla). The new dynamic regime was found to be due to anentirely novel nanomagnetic dynamic object â a so-called magnetic droplet soliton,predicted theoretically in 1977 but not experimentally observed until now.Detailed experiments and micromagnetic simulations show that the droplet hasvery rich dynamics.
Finally, spin-torque-induced transverse spin wave instabilities have beenstudied. A NC-STO with a material stack consisting of a single ferromag- netic metal sandwiched between two non-ferromagnetic metals was fabricated. Prior to this work, evidence of spin wave instabilities was reported as resis- tance switching in nanopillar- and mechanical point contact based STOs. In the present work, the fabricated NC-STOs showed actual microwave signals up to 3 GHz under zero applied field with strong current hysteresis. All the fabricated NC-STOs open up new means of studying STT in different environ- ments, in order to resolve their current drawbacks for industrial applications.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2013. , xvi, 65 p.
TRITA-ICT/MAP AVH, ISSN 1653-7610 ; 2013:04
Spin-torque oscillators, phase locking, spin wave, giant magnetoresistance, spin transfer torque, thin films.
Physical Sciences Nano Technology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-122292ISBN: 978-91-7501-760-0OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-122292DiVA: diva2:621907
2013-06-14, Sal/Hall E, Foru KTH-ITC, Isafjordsgatan 39, Kista, 10:00 (English)
Engel, Brad, Dr.
Åkerman, Johan, Professor
QC 201305272013-05-272013-05-172014-01-14Bibliographically approved
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