Electric-field-assisted switching in magnetic tunneljunctions

Wei Gang Wang, Mingen Li, Stephen Hageman, C. L. Chien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

874 Scopus citations


The advent of spin transfer torque effect accommodates site-specific switching of magnetic nanostructures by current alone without magnetic field. However, the critical current density required for usual spin torque switching remains stubbornly high around 106 g107 A cm-2. It would be fundamentally transformative if an electric field through a voltage could assist or accomplish the switching of ferromagnets. Here we report electric-field-assisted reversible switching in CoFeB/MgO/CoFeB magnetic tunnel junctions with interfacial perpendicular magnetic anisotropy, where the coercivity, the magnetic configuration and the tunnelling magnetoresistance can be manipulated by voltage pulses associated with much smaller current densities. These results represent a crucial step towards ultralow energy switching in magnetic tunnel junctions, and open a new avenue for exploring other voltage-controlled spintronic devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-68
Number of pages5
JournalNature materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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