Enhanced all-optical switching and domain wall velocity in annealed synthetic-ferrimagnetic multilayers

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All optical switching (AOS) of the magnetization in synthetic ferrimagnetic Pt/Co/Gd stacks has received considerable interest due to its high potential towards integration with spintronic devices, such as magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs), to enable ultrafast memory applications. Post-annealing is an essential process in the MTJ fabrication to obtain optimized tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) ratio. However, with integrating AOS with an MTJ in prospect, the annealing effects on single-pulse AOS and domain wall (DW) dynamics in the Pt/Co/Gd stacks haven't been systematically investigated yet. In this study, we experimentally explore the annealing effect on AOS and field-induced DW motion in Pt/Co/Gd stacks. The results show that the threshold fluence (F_0) for AOS is reduced significantly as a function of annealing temperature (T_a) ranging from 100C to 300C. Specifically, a 28% reduction of F_0 can be observed upon annealing at 300C, which is a critical T_a for MTJ fabrication. Lastly, we also demonstrate a significant increase of the DW velocity in the creep regime upon annealing, which is attributed to annealing-induced Co/Gd interface intermixing. Our findings show that annealed Pt/Co/Gd system facilitates ultrafast and energy-efficient AOS, as well as enhanced DW velocity, which is highly suitable towards opto-spintronic memory applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2005.03971
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2020


  • physics.app-ph


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