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Scalability of Magnetic Random Access Memories Based on an In-Plane Magnetized Free Layer

Thibaut Devolder

Institut d'Electronique Fondamentale, Université Paris-Sud, 91405 Orsay, France and UMR 8622, CNRS, 91405 Orsay, France

(Received May 18, 2011; accepted July 1, 2011; published online August 9, 2011)

We study magnetic random access memory scaling for technologies using in-plane magnetized free layers. From thermal stability constraints and demagnetizing effects, we derive how the optimal memory cell geometry evolves when downscaling its lateral size. We account for the dependence of the free layer damping, demagnetization fields and the spin torque switching current with the thickness. The long term breakdown of the tunnel oxide determines the ultimate achievable lateral dimensions. Using the best reported material performances, junctions with lateral footprints below 800 nm2 are not likely to be functional. ©2011 The Japan Society of Applied Physics

DOI: 10.1143/APEX.4.093001

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