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A Nonvolatile Spintronic Memory Element with a Continuum of Resistance States

Authors

  • Yeyu Fang,

    1. Department of Physics, University of Gothenburg, 412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden E-mail: fangyeyu84@gmail.com
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  • R. K. Dumas,

    1. Department of Physics, University of Gothenburg, 412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden E-mail: fangyeyu84@gmail.com
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  • T. N. Anh Nguyen,

    1. Materials Physics, School of Information and Communication Technology, KTH - Royal Institute of Technology, Electrum 229, 164 40 Stockholm-Kista, Sweden
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  • S. M. Mohseni,

    1. Materials Physics, School of Information and Communication Technology, KTH - Royal Institute of Technology, Electrum 229, 164 40 Stockholm-Kista, Sweden
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  • S. Chung,

    1. Materials Physics, School of Information and Communication Technology, KTH - Royal Institute of Technology, Electrum 229, 164 40 Stockholm-Kista, Sweden
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  • C. W. Miller,

    1. Department of Physics, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620, USA
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  • Johan Åkerman

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Physics, University of Gothenburg, 412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden E-mail: fangyeyu84@gmail.com
    2. Materials Physics, School of Information and Communication Technology, KTH - Royal Institute of Technology, Electrum 229, 164 40 Stockholm-Kista, Sweden
    • Department of Physics, University of Gothenburg, 412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden E-mail: fangyeyu84@gmail.com.
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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.

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