HIGHLIGHTS

Here below a list of some key results of SPINTEC achieved in the last years.

  • Spintec theory group has understood the origin of perpendicular magnetic anisotropy at the interface between ferromagnetic (FM) and non-magnetic layers, in particular at Co(Fe)/MgO interfaces. The presence of large PMA values combined with low Gilbert damping makes these structures suitable for implementation as bit cells in spin transfer torque and spin orbit torque MRAMs.
  • First principles investigations of both substrate and shape induced magnetism have shown the potential for producing high spin polarization and exchange splitting band-gap values in graphene, which has emerged as one of the most promising material for developing “beyond CMOS” nanoelectronics.
  • Experimental investigation of the effects of structural inversion asymmetry (SIA) on the static and dynamic properties of domain walls. i) effect of spin-orbit torques on the DW dynamics ii) role of SIA on the equilibrium magnetic texture – the DM interaction – and its influence on the current induced dynamics. iii) role of SIA on the non-equilibrium properties of DWs: chiral dissipation.
  • New innovative method for a non-destructive and predictive characterization of MTJ endurance : Our statistical study showed that charge trapping/detrapping phenomena on tunnel barrier defects play a key role in the aging and breakdown of MgO oxide. As a result, the low frequency noise level of un-stressed MTJs, which is also linked to the defects that trap charges, correlates with their future endurance.
  • Improved materials for hard disk drives read heads and TAS-MRAM cells. Sandwiching an IrMn layer between two ferromagnetic layers having orthogonal anisotropy directions significantly increases the exchange bias loop shift via the improvement of the antiferromagnetic grains thermal stability. Dusting a thin Cu layer at the F/AF interface to bring a concave curvature of the EB loop shift temperature dependence which is of primary importance for MRAM cells.
  • The phase noise in Spin Torque Oscillators (STO), which has been pinpointed to having two origins : Phase fluctuations due to thermal activation (linear, direct fluctuation) and amplitude fluctuations (non linear), which origin is still to be fully understood.
  • The role of dipolar coupling in-between layers of MTJ / STO structures, leading to discontinuities in the field and current dependencies of the frequency that also influences the linewidth (and thus the phase noise). This interaction is not limited to the crossing of the fundamental modes but can also occur for crossing of higher harmonics.
  • Development of a novel concept for perpendicular STT-MRAM based on thermally-induced anisotropy reorientation of a storage layer with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy. This allows a better ratio of thermal stability to low critical current density compared to the state of the art.

  • Ultrafast switching in STT-MRAM: The writing speed of STT-MRAM cells can be greatly improved, down to sub-ns values, by adding an additional ferromagnetic spin polarizing layer, magnetized perpendicular to the storage layer. This concept was initially patented by SPINTEC in 2000.
  • We have achieved the first proof of concept of a perpendicular 3-terminals SOT-MRAM cell. These results pave the way to ultra-fast (200ps), low energy and high endurance MRAM cells, suitable for memory cache applications.
  • Flexible and powerful design flows for evaluation, design and implementation of hybrid CMOS/Magnetic logic circuits has been developed. To the best of our knowledge, this flow is the most mature in the field and it aims at becoming a standard in the world.
  • A novel radiation-hard FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) architecture combining DRAM and MRAM cells has been proposed and demonstrated using Tower-Jazz / Crocus’ 130nm technology This was the first functional magnetic logic demonstrator in Europe.
  • A new compact, fully-integrated, self-calibrated, 3D magnetometer concept has been demonstrated, for mobile applications requiring a large autonomy
  • Magnetic nanoparticles prepared by a top-down approach are used as an innovative approach to cancer therapy, whereupon the cells apoptosis is triggered by magneto-mechanical vibrations induced by a low frequency (20 Hz) external magnetic field.

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