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Keywords:

  • multilevel memory;
  • giant magnetoresistance;
  • magnetic domains;
  • spintronic memristor;
  • graded anisotropy

Abstract

A continuum of stable remanent resistance states is reported in perpendicularly magnetized pseudo spin valves with a graded anisotropy free layer. The resistance states can be systematically set by an externally applied magnetic field. The gradual reversal of the free layer with applied field and the field-independent fixed layer leads to a range of stable and reproducible remanent resistance values, as determined by the giant magnetoresistance of the device. An analysis of first-order reversal curves combined with magnetic force microscopy shows that the origin of the effect is the field-dependent population of up and down domains in the free layer.