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Journal of Nanotechnology
Volume 2016, Article ID 8347280, 11 pages
Research Article

Performance Optimization of Spin-Torque Microwave Detectors with Material and Operational Parameters

1Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
2Department of Physics, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
3School of Electronics Science and Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China

Received 1 February 2016; Accepted 30 May 2016

Academic Editor: Oded Millo

Copyright © 2016 X. Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Sensitivity, bandwidth, and noise equivalent power (NEP) are important indicators of the performance of microwave detectors. The previous reports on spin-torque microwave detectors (STMDs) have proposed various approaches to increase the sensitivity. However, the effects of these methods on the other two indicators remain unclear. In this work, macrospin simulation is developed to evaluate how the performance can be optimized through changing the material (tilt angle of reference-layer magnetization) and operational parameters (the direction of magnetic field and working temperature). The study on the effect of magnetic field reveals that the driving force behind the performance tuning is the effective field and the equilibrium angle between the magnetization of the free layer and that of the reference layer. The material that offers the optimal tilt angle in reference-layer magnetization is determined. The sensitivity can be further increased by changing the direction of the applied magnetic field and the operation temperature. Although the optimized sensitivity is accompanied by a reduction in bandwidth or an increase in NEP, a balance among these performance indicators can be reached through optimal tuning of the corresponding influencing parameters.