Anomalous spin-orbit torque switching in synthetic antiferromagnets

Chong Bi, Hamid Almasi, Kyle Price, Ty Newhouse-Illige, Meng Xu, Shane R. Allen, Xin Fan, Weigang Wang

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  • 4 Citations

Abstract

We report that synthetic antiferromagnets (SAFs) can be efficiently switched by spin-orbit torques (SOTs) and the switching scheme does not obey the usual SOT switching rule. We show that both the positive and negative spin Hall angle (SHA)-like switching can be observed in Pt/SAF structures with only positive SHA, depending on the strength of applied in-plane fields. A switching mechanism directly arising from the asymmetric domain expansion is proposed to explain the anomalous switching behaviors. Contrary to the macrospin-based switching model where the SOT switching direction is determined by the sign of SHA, this switching mechanism suggests that the SOT switching direction is dominated by the field-modulated domain wall motion and can be reversed even with the same sign of SHA. The presence of this switching mechanism is further confirmed by the domain wall motion measurements. The anomalous switching behaviors provide important insights for understanding SOT switching mechanisms and also offer novel features for applications.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Article number104434
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Volume95
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 28 2017

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torque
orbits
Orbits
Torque
domain wall
Domain walls
expansion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Anomalous spin-orbit torque switching in synthetic antiferromagnets. / Bi, Chong; Almasi, Hamid; Price, Kyle; Newhouse-Illige, Ty; Xu, Meng; Allen, Shane R.; Fan, Xin; Wang, Weigang.

In: Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, Vol. 95, No. 10, 104434, 28.03.2017.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Bi, C, Almasi, H, Price, K, Newhouse-Illige, T, Xu, M, Allen, SR, Fan, X & Wang, W 2017, 'Anomalous spin-orbit torque switching in synthetic antiferromagnets' Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, vol 95, no. 10, 104434. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.95.104434
Bi C, Almasi H, Price K, Newhouse-Illige T, Xu M, Allen SR et al. Anomalous spin-orbit torque switching in synthetic antiferromagnets. Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics. 2017 Mar 28;95(10). 104434. Available from, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.95.104434
Bi, Chong ; Almasi, Hamid ; Price, Kyle ; Newhouse-Illige, Ty ; Xu, Meng ; Allen, Shane R. ; Fan, Xin ; Wang, Weigang. / Anomalous spin-orbit torque switching in synthetic antiferromagnets. In: Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics. 2017 ; Vol. 95, No. 10.
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