Back to overview

Field-free switching of magnetic tunnel junctions driven by spin–orbit torques at sub-ns timescales

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Krizakova Viola, Garello Kevin, Grimaldi Eva, Kar Gouri Sankar, Gambardella Pietro,
Project Spin-orbitronics in ferromagnets and antiferromagnets
Show all

Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Applied Physics Letters
Volume (Issue) 116(23)
Page(s) 232406 - 232406
Title of proceedings Applied Physics Letters
DOI 10.1063/5.0011433

Open Access

Type of Open Access Repository (Green Open Access)


We report time-resolved measurements of magnetization switching by spin–orbit torques in the absence of an external magnetic field in perpendicularly magnetized magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs). Field-free switching is enabled by the dipolar field of an in-plane magnetized layer integrated above the MTJ stack, the orientation of which determines the switching polarity. Real-time single-shot measurements provide direct evidence of magnetization reversal and switching distributions. Close to the critical switching voltage, we observe stochastic reversal events due to a finite incubation delay preceding the magnetization reversal. Upon increasing the pulse amplitude to twice the critical voltage, the reversal becomes quasi-deterministic, leading to reliable bipolar switching at sub-ns timescales in zero external field. We further investigate the switching probability as a function of dc bias of the MTJ and external magnetic field, providing insight into the parameters that determine the critical switching voltage.