Voltage-Controlled Magnetic Memory Element With Canted Magnetization

Tech ID: 30035 / UC Case 2013-417-0

Summary

UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical Engineering have developed a method for voltage-controlled switching of the magnetization direction in MeRAM circuits.

Background

New random-access memory technologies have been emerging as computer data storage must keep up with the increasing amount of data being generated and processed.  One emerging memory technology is magneto-electric random-access memory (MeRAM) which uses voltage to manipulate and switch magnetization directions.  This capacitive voltage-controlled device is also referred to as a magnetoelectric junction (MEJ) device.  Controlling the switching direction in MEJ devices is a key requirement for the realization of practical MeRAM products.  Mechanisms that use different voltage amplitudes have been proposed to control this switching direction.

Innovation

UCLA researchers have developed a method for controlling the switching direction in MEJ devices, which fulfills a critical requirement for the practical use of MeRAM circuits.  This method uses canted magnetization states and variously timed voltage pulses to achieve controllable switching in opposite directions.  The voltage-controlled magnetic anisotropy (VCMA)-induced switching between two canted states occurs without the influence of spin-polarized currents.  Moreover, thermally-activated switching down to 10 nanoseconds with the assistance of a small (few 10 Oe) bias field is demonstrated.  The configuration presented can help realize fully voltage-controlled magnetoelectric memory and logic devices.

Applications

  • Microprocessors
  • Microcontrollers
  • Computer memory
  • Disk Storage
  • Memory cache for electronics applications

Advantages

  • Consumes little power
  • No influence of spin-polarized currents
  • Small bias fields used

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 9,036,407 05/19/2015 2013-417
 

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Inventors

  • Wang, Kang L.

Other Information

Keywords

memory cell, free layer magnetization, magneto-electric random-access memory (MeRAM), voltage-controlled magnetic anisotropy (VCMA)-induced switching, thermally-activated switching, magnetoelectric junction device

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