Observation of intermediate states in magnetic tunnel junctions with composite free layer

Xiaofeng Yao, Roger Malmhall, Rajiv Ranjan, Jian Ping Wang

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5 Scopus citations


The current-induced magnetization switching was studied in the MTJ devices with composite free layer (CoFeB/CoFeB-oxide/CoFeB). The stable intermediate state was observed due to the multi-domain structure induced by the dipole field and large device size. Two different stable intermediate states were observed in different applied current direction. The switching mechanisms of those two intermediate states are different, which is also indicated by the switching current distribution. Reversible intermediate state was also observed at low applied current, which may be due to the domain nucleation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2496-2499
Number of pages4
JournalIEEE Transactions on Magnetics
Issue number11 PART 2
StatePublished - Nov 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank the support from the NSF Nano Fabrication Center (NFC) and the Institute of Rock Magnetism in the University of Minnesota. The authors also thank Prof. A. Gopinath Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, for his support.


  • Composite free layer
  • Current-induced magnetization switching
  • Intermediate state
  • Magnetic random-access memory (MRAM)
  • Magnetic tunnel junction
  • Spin transfer


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