Electric-Field-Controlled Magnetoelectric RAM: Progress, Challenges, and Scaling

Pedram Khalili Amiri*, Juan G. Alzate, Xue Qing Cai, Farbod Ebrahimi, Qi Hu, Kin Wong, Cécile Grèzes, Hochul Lee, Guoqiang Yu, Xiang Li, Mustafa Akyol, Qiming Shao, Jordan A. Katine, Jürgen Langer, Berthold Ocker, Kang L. Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations

Abstract

We review the recent progress in the development of magnetoelectric RAM (MeRAM) based on electric-field-controlled writing in magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs). MeRAM uses the tunneling magnetoresistance effect for readout in a two-terminal memory element, similar to other types of magnetic RAM. However, the writing of information is performed by voltage control of magnetic anisotropy (VCMA) at the interface of an MgO tunnel barrier and the CoFeB-based free layer, as opposed to current-controlled (e.g., spin-transfer torque or spin-orbit torque) mechanisms. We present results on voltage-induced switching of MTJs in both resonant (precessional) and thermally activated regimes, which demonstrate fast (<1 ns) and ultralow-power (<40 fJ/bit) write operations at voltages ∼1.5-2 V. We also discuss the implications of the VCMA-based write mechanism on memory array design, highlighting the possibility of crossbar implementation for high bit density. Results are presented from a 1 kbit MeRAM test array. Endurance and voltage scaling data are presented. The scaling behavior is analyzed, and material-level requirements are discussed for the translation of MeRAM into mainstream memory applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7120957
JournalIEEE Transactions on Magnetics
Volume51
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

Keywords

  • Magnetic RAM (MRAM)
  • magnetoelectric RAM (MeRAM)
  • nonvolatile memory
  • spin-transfer torque (STT)
  • voltage control of magnetic anisotropy (VCMA)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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