MRAM

Overview

The Magnetic Random Access Memories (MRAM) group develops advanced concepts in this emerging technology. The goal is to realize cells with improved thermal stability, lower power consumption and/or faster switching. Our research covers material stack deposition, nano-fabrication and electrical test evaluation, for applications as standalone memory and non-volatile logic and more recently in neuromorphic computing architectures.

Research directions

Perpendicular Anisotropy Materials

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High energy barriers for spin transfer torque (STT) MRAM cells can be achieved with perpendicular anisotropy magnetic tunnel junctions. Solutions for high density MRAM cells to diameters below 20nm require continuous improvements in perpendicular surface anisotropy, while maintaining high TMR properties.

Perpendicular STT MRAM

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Evaluation of MRAM concepts requires simulation of expected reversal mechanisms and electrical characterization of individual cells. We aim at understanding dynamics of magnetization reversal and the expected impact of stack modifications to explore application specific optimizations.

Nanofabrication Challenges

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Innovation on dense MRAM using pre-patterned substrates, CMOS integration of multifunctional cells and sub-10nm lateral sizes. Tunnel junction nanofabrication in our platform is essential to evaluate MRAM concepts and performance.

Perpendicular Shape Anisotropy

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A solution for sub-10nm cell sizes uses high aspect ratios to generate perpendicular shape anisotropy providing scalable retention at the smallest cell sizes. Spin transfer torque switching is possible in these cells, where the reversal dynamics is now under study.

The team

Former members

Post-docs

  • Andrey TIMOPHEEV (2014-2017)
  • Van Dai NGUYEN (2016-2018)
  • J. Ranier Roiz (2015-2016)
  • Nikita Strelkov (2016-2019)

PhD

  • Luc TILLIE (2015-2018)
  • Nicolas PERRISSIN (2015-2018)
  • Jyotirmoy CHATTERGEE (2014-2017)
  • Hieu Tan NGUYEN (2013-2016)
  • Antoine Chavent (2013-2015)

Process Engineers

  • Jude GUELFFUCCI (2015-2017)
  • Nathalie LAMARD (2016-2017)
  • Guillaume LAVAITTE (2015-2016)

Projects

  • Samsung SGMI (2014-2017)
  • ANR Excalyb (2014-2017)
  • Heumem (2015-2018)
  • EU-FET Spice (2016-2019)
  • EU Great (2016-2019)
  • ERC Magical (2015-2020)

Partners

  • CEA LETI, Grenoble, France
  • Institut NEEL, Grenoble, France
  • Crocus Technology, Grenoble, France
  • Samsung, San Jose, USA
  • Singulus AG, Kahl am Main, Germany
  • Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
  • Radboud Universiteit, Neijmegen, Netherlands

Recent news

  • MRAM WITH SOFT REFERENCE LAYER: IN-STACK COMBINATION OF MEMORY AND LOGIC FUNCTIONS (July 02nd, 2015)
    Q. Stainer, L. Lombard, K. Mackay, R. C. Sousa, I. L. Prejbeanu, B. Dieny This paper describes an original concept of thermally assisted MRAM in which memory and logic functions are combined in the same stack. ...
  • MRAM CONCEPTS FOR SUB-NANOSECOND PRECESSIONAL SWITCHING AND SUB-20NM CELL SCALING (July 02nd, 2015)
    R.C. Sousa, S. Bandiera, M. Marins de Castro, B. Lacoste, L. San-Erneterio-Alvarez, L. Nistor, S. Auffret, U. Ebels, C. Ducruet, I. L. Prejbeanu, L. Vila, B. Rodrnacq, B. Dieny This work reports on advances in MRAM ...
  • WP1 : RELIABILITY AND IMPROVED PERFORMANCES OF SPINTRONIC MATERIALS (July 02nd, 2015)
    In WP1, studies were conducted to understand the mechanisms responsible for the dielectric breakdown in magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs). A key asset of STT-MRAM is their write endurance which is much better than in all ...
  • UNE COUCHE « TAMPON » QUI CHANGE TOUT ! (July 02nd, 2015)
    Une jonction tunnel magnétique exploite des variations de résistance électrique sous l’effet d’un champ magnétique. Des chercheurs de l’Inac ont montré que l’insertion d’une couche « tampon » entre deux structures cristallines différentes peut augmenter ...
  • PATHOS (July 02nd, 2015)
    Perpendicular Anisotropy Materials for High-Density Non-volatile Magnetic Memory Cells Description The project aims at building the knowledge to fabricate perpendicular anisotropy magnetic tunnel junctions, and more generally the realization of perpendicular anisotropy layers for use as magnetic ...

Publications

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