Journal of Applied Physics

Materials investigation for thermally-assisted magnetic random access memory robust against 400°C temperatures

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Magnetic materials are investigated in order to enable a new type of Thermally Assisted Magnetic Random Access Memory (TAS-MRAM). A TAS-MRAM materials stack that is robust against the 400°C process temperatures required for embedded integration with complementary metal oxide silicon processes is demonstrated. In unpatterned sheet film stacks, a stable resistance-area product, tunneling magnetoresistance (MR)>100%, and temperature-dependent exchange bias of 1500Oe after 400°C anneal are shown for this stack. It is further shown that by doping the sense and storage layers with Ta using thin laminations of Ta/CoFeB, the moment of each layer can be reduced by more than 40% without a major reduction in MR. In patterned nanopillar devices, it is shown that by reducing the moment of the sense and storage layers with laminations of Ta, and by adding a second MgO barrier, the resistance versus applied field loop quality is maintained, while the read field is reduced by more than 40% and devices survive 10<sup>8</sup> write cycles without breakdown or significant degradation.