High-speed spin-transfer switching in GMR nano-pillars with perpendicular anisotropy

H. Tomita, T. Nozaki, T. Seki, T. Nagase, K. Nishiyama, E. Kitagawa, M. Yoshikawa, T. Daibou, M. Nagamine, T. Kishi, S. Ikegawa, N. Shimomura, H. Yoda, Y. Suzuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


We studied the spin-transfer switching probability (Psw) in giant magnetoresistance (GMR) device with perpendicular magnetizations using short nanosecond and sub-nanosecond current pulses. A switching time of 510 picoseconds was achieved with the application of 7.5 mA, which is 4.3 times larger than the critical current at 0 K, without the application of an assisting magnetic field. Experiments with longer pulses revealed an exponential decay of the nonswitching probability (1-Psw) as a function of pulse width. Extrapolation of the results predicts an error rate of 10-19 for a pulse width of about 4.8 ns. To understand the observed pulse width dependence of Psw, we developed a formula using a macro spin model for the perpendicular magnetization system which includes the influence of thermal fluctuations in the initial magnetization direction of the free layer. The formula easily reproduces the qualitative nature of the observed Psw distributions in all time ranges.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5772200
Pages (from-to)1599-1602
Number of pages4
JournalIEEE Transactions on Magnetics
Issue number6 PART 1
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jun
Externally publishedYes


  • Magnetic recording
  • magnetization reversal
  • magnetoresistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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