Field-free magnetization reversal by spin-Hall effect and exchange bias

A. van den Brink, G. Vermijs, A. Solignac, J. Koo, J.T. Kohlhepp, H.J.M. Swagten, B. Koopmans

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Abstract

As the first magnetic random access memories are finding their way onto the market, an important issue remains to be solved: the current density required to write magnetic bits becomes prohibitively high as bit dimensions are reduced. Recently, spin–orbit torques and the spin-Hall effect in particular have attracted significant interest, as they enable magnetization reversal without high current densities running through the tunnel barrier. For perpendicularly magnetized layers, however, the technological implementation of the spin-Hall effect is hampered by the necessity of an in-plane magnetic field for deterministic switching. Here we interface a thin ferromagnetic layer with an anti-ferromagnetic material. An in-plane exchange bias is created and shown to enable field-free S HE-driven magnetization reversal of a perpendicularly magnetized Pt/Co/IrMn structure. Aside from the potential technological implications, our experiment provides additional insight into the local spin structure at the ferromagnetic/anti-ferromagnetic interface
Original languageEnglish
Article number10854
Pages (from-to)1-6
JournalNature Communications
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016

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