High performance MgO-barrier magnetic tunnel junctions for flexible and wearable spintronic applications

Jun Yang Chen, Yong Chang Lau, J. M.D. Coey, Mo Li, Jian Ping Wang

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32 Scopus citations


The magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) using MgO barrier is one of most important building blocks for spintronic devices and has been widely utilized as miniaturized magentic sensors. It could play an important role in wearable medical devices if they can be fabricated on flexible substrates. The required stringent fabrication processes to obtain high quality MgO-barrier MTJs, however, limit its integration with flexible electronics devices. In this work, we have developed a method to fabricate high-performance MgO-barrier MTJs directly onto ultrathin flexible silicon membrane with a thickness of 14 ?m and then transfer-and-bond to plastic substrates. Remarkably, such flexible MTJs are fully functional, exhibiting a TMR ratio as high as 190% under bending radii as small as 5 mm. The devices' robustness is manifested by its retained excellent performance and unaltered TMR ratio after over 1000 bending cycles. The demonstrated flexible MgO-barrier MTJs opens the door to integrating highperformance spintronic devices in flexible and wearable electronics devices for a plethora of biomedical sensing applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number42001
JournalScientific reports
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by C-SPIN, one of six centers of STARnet, a Semiconductor Research Corporation program, sponsored by MARCO and DARPA. Part of this work were carried out in the University of Minnesota Nanofabrication Center which receives partial support from NSF through NNIN program. YCL and JMDC acknowledge the support by Science Foundation Ireland through AMBER, and from grant 13/ERC/I2561.

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