Applied Physics Letters

Bias dependence of spin transfer torque in Co2MnSi Heusler alloy based magnetic tunnel junctions

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Heusler compounds are of interest as electrode materials for use in magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) due to their half metallic character, which leads to 100% spin polarization and high tunneling magnetoresistance. Most work to date has focused on the improvements to tunneling magnetoresistance that can stem from the use of Heusler electrodes, while there is much less work investigating the influence of Heusler electrodes on the spin transfer torque properties of MTJs. Here, we investigate the bias dependence of the anti-damping like and field-like spin transfer torque components in both symmetric (Co2MnSi/MgO/Co2MnSi) and asymmetric (Co2MnSi/MgO/CoFe) structure Heusler based MTJs using spin transfer torque ferromagnetic resonance. We find that while the damping like torque is linear with respect to bias for both MTJ structures, the asymmetric MTJ structure has an additional linear component to the ordinarily quadratic field like torque bias dependence and that these results can be accounted for by a free electron tunneling model. Furthermore, our results suggest that the low damping and low saturation magnetization properties of Heusler alloys are more likely to lead significant improvements to spin torque switching efficiency rather than their half metallic character.