Thermally Stable Magnetic Tunnel Junction Memory: In magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs), electrons tunnel through a thin insulating layer from one magnetic material to another. Fast and non-volatile by nature, MTJs are a good candidate for embedded memory applications, but their scalability has been an issue because of inherent random thermal fluctuations in the magnetic materials. Tohoku University researchers will describe a CoFeB-MgO magnetic tunnel junction with separate read/write sections, fabricated by a hard-mask process. Researchers claim it can scale to the 1X-nm node because the read-layer thickness can be increased, resulting in better stability against thermal fluctuation.
The graphic above illustrates the separate read/write sections; with ( a) showing double CoFeB-MgO interfaces while (b) shows a single CoFeB-MgO interface.
(Paper #3.2, “Comprehensive Study of CoFeB-MgO Magnetic Tunnel Junction Characteristics with Single- and Double-Interface Scaling Down to 1X nm,” H. Sato et al, Tohoku University)