Spin-torque resonant expulsion of the vortex core for an efficient radiofrequency detection scheme


It has been proposed that high-frequency detectors based on the so-called spin-torque diode effect in spin transfer oscillators could eventually replace conventional Schottky diodes due to their nanoscale size, frequency tunability and large output sensitivity. Although a promising candidate for information and communications technology applications, the output voltage generated from this effect has still to be improved and, more pertinently, reduces drastically with decreasing radiofrequency (RF) current. Here we present a scheme for a new type of spintronics-based high-frequency detector based on the expulsion of the vortex core in a magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ). The resonant expulsion of the core leads to a large and sharp change in resistance associated with the difference in magnetoresistance between the vortex ground state and the final C-state configuration. Interestingly, this reversible effect is independent of the incoming RF current amplitude, offering a fast real-time RF threshold detector.

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Figure 1: Vortex core resonance versus core expulsion.
Figure 2: Core expulsion to quasi-uniform state.
Figure 3: Reducing IRFmin by compensation of damping.
Figure 4: Radio frequency current dependence.


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The authors acknowledge the ANR agency (SPINNOVA ANR-11-NANO-0016) as well as EU FP7 grant (MOSAIC No. ICT-FP7-8.317950) for financial support. E.G. acknowledges CNES and DGA for their support.

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A.S.J., P.B. and V.C. conceived and coordinated the project. A.S.J. performed the experimental measurements, as well as the micromagnetic simulations. A.S.J., R.L., E.G., P.B. and V.C. interpreted the data. S.T. assisted in the development of the experimental setup. The samples were fabricated by H.K., K.Y., A.F., and S.Y. The manuscript was prepared by A.S.J. with the assistance of P.B. and V.C. All authors commented the manuscript.

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Correspondence to V. Cros.

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Jenkins, A., Lebrun, R., Grimaldi, E. et al. Spin-torque resonant expulsion of the vortex core for an efficient radiofrequency detection scheme. Nature Nanotech 11, 360–364 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2015.295

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