Domain wall pinning for racetrack memory using exchange bias

Ioan Polenciuc, Andrew James Vick, Dan Allwood, T J Hayward, Gonzalo Vallejo Fernandez, Kevin Dermot O'Grady, Atsufumi Hirohata

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The pinning of domain walls in ferromagnetic (F) wires is one possible technique for the creation of a solid state magnetic memory. Such a system has been under consideration for some time but one of the main limitations is the control of, and non-uniformity of the domain wall pinning. Techniques such as the lithographic definition of notches and steps in the substrate have had some success in creating local pins but have the disadvantage of being expensive to fabricate and the reproducibility of the domain wall pinning strength is limited. In this letter, we report on an alternative strategy to create pins of reproducible strength using crossed ferromagnetic and antiferromagnetic (AF) wires such that exchange bias can be introduced at the crossing points. Such a system has the advantage of ease of fabrication and creating domain wall pins of controlled strength by varying the width of the AF wire. We have achieved domain wall pinning field strengths of up to 37 Oe in a system where the AF wire is deposited above the F wire which is comparable to the values achieved using notches.
Original languageEnglish
Article number162406
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2014


  • Exchange bias
  • Racetrack memory

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