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Field-free spin-orbit torque-induced switching of perpendicular magnetization in a ferrimagnetic layer with a vertical composition gradient

Bias-field-free switching scheme for perpendicular ferrimagnets with g-DMI provides a strategy for efficient and compact SOT device design.

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Abstract
“Current-induced spin-orbit torques (SOTs) are of interest for fast and energy-efficient manipulation of magnetic order in spintronic devices. To be deterministic, however, switching of perpendicularly magnetized materials by SOT requires a mechanism for in-plane symmetry breaking. Existing methods to do so involve the application of an in-plane bias magnetic field, or incorporation of in-plane structural asymmetry in the device, both of which can be difficult to implement in practical applications. Here, we report bias-field-free SOT switching in a single perpendicular CoTb layer with an engineered vertical composition gradient. The vertical structural inversion asymmetry induces strong intrinsic SOTs and a gradient-driven Dzyaloshinskii–Moriya interaction (g-DMI), which breaks the in-plane symmetry during the switching process. Micromagnetic simulations are in agreement with experimental results, and elucidate the role of g-DMI in the deterministic switching processes. This bias-field-free switching scheme for perpendicular ferrimagnets with g-DMI provides a strategy for efficient and compact SOT device design.”

Find the open access technical paper link here.

Zheng, Z., Zhang, Y., Lopez-Dominguez, V. et al. Field-free spin-orbit torque-induced switching of perpendicular magnetization in a ferrimagnetic layer with a vertical composition gradient. Nat Commun 12, 4555 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-24854-7.



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