Towards a six-state magnetic memory element

Y. Telepinsky, V. Mor, M. Schultz, Y. M. Hung, A. D. Kent, L. Klein

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We pattern permalloy films into three crossing elongated ellipses with an angle of 60 degrees between the major axes of any pair of ellipses. Planar Hall effect measurements show that the magnetization in the area of overlap of the ellipses has six stable magnetic orientations parallel to the major axes of the three ellipses. We determine the effective anisotropy field for small magnetic deviations from the easy axis and the switching field between the easy axes as a function of magnetic field orientation. We compare our results with micromagnetic simulations and present an effective Hamiltonian that captures the magnetic response. We show how such magnetic structures in a magnetic tunnel junction would result in a magnetic memory element with six distinct resistance states that could be written using spin-orbit torques. Published by AIP Publishing.
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