Spintronique dans les matériaux 2D : du graphène au h-BN

Abstract : Nowadays a critical issue is raised concerning the future of current electronics. Increasingly, hybrid circuits with new functionalities are manufactured. A longer term approach is even contemplated with circuits based on a technology different from the one currently used (CMOS technology). One of these envisioned technologies is spintronics, which benefits from the spin properties, the electron additional degree of freedom. Spintronics has quickly proven its worth in the past in the field of non volatile data storing (hard drives) and is today moving towards new fast and ultra-low-power magnetic random access memories the MRAMs. Meanwhile, these last few years, a new category of materials with high potential has emerged : the bidimensional materials (2D). These materials, with graphene (one atomically thick layer of graphite) as the forerunner, provide new unrivaled properties. Their combination in the form of heterostructures and the ability to obtain a control of their thickness at the atomic scale could be a major asset for electronics and more specifically spintronics. The purpose of this thesis has been the study of the integration and the demonstration of the potential in terms of functionalities and performances of these new 2D materials inside the prototypical spintronic device: the magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ). During this thesis, we have pursued the work initiated by the laboratory on the integration of graphene in MTJs with direct CVD deposition method (chemical vapor deposition) on the underlying ferromagnetic electrode. We demonstrated that the spin filtering and protective membrane properties (preventing the oxidation of the underlying ferromagnetic electrode (FM)) observed earlier expand to a graphene monolayer. Furthermore, we have also studied and improved significantly the amplitude of the spin filtering and the magnetoresistance signal observed. This was done thanks to the optimization of the growth process, integration, and choice of the different configurations of ferromagnetic materials in our structures (Ni(111), Co...). High spin filtering effects have been observed as a function of the configurations with magnetoristances ranging from -15% to beyond +80%, which is almost three times the state of the art. Meanwhile, we looked at another 2D material, the hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN), an insulating isomorph of graphene which could be considered as an atomically thin tunnel barrier. In order to study h-BN into a MTJ, we took again advantage of direct CVD growth of the 2D material on a ferromagnet. CT-AFM (Conductive Tip Atomic Force Microscopy) measurements allowed us to demonstrate the homogeneous tunnel barrier properties of h-BN and the possible control of the barrier height with the number of h-BN layers. Simultaneously, electrical and magnetotransport measurement in the complete junction allowed us to confirm the achieved integration of the h-BN tunnel barrier into our MTJ. We have been able to obtain the first results of high magnetoresistance for h-BN with values one order of magnitude beyond the state of the art. A magnetoresistance of +50% has been reached, thanks to the optimization of the growth process revealing the potential of h-BN. We have also been able to show the important role of the coupling between h-BN and the FM electrode offering an unprecedented potential of control on the spin filtering effects, ranging up to making the h-BN metallic. During this thesis, we have been able to demonstrate that the integration of graphene and h-BN in MTJs through direct CVD growth is a promising process in order to fully exploit their properties. The results obtained of high magnetoresistance and spin filtering point to the high potential for MTJs of graphene and h-BN but also to all the new 2D materials to come. These studies pave the way for exploring a new path for MTJs : the 2D-MTJs.
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Maëlis Piquemal. Spintronique dans les matériaux 2D : du graphène au h-BN. Matière Condensée [cond-mat]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018SACLS079⟩. ⟨tel-02167925⟩

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