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Proceedings Paper

Spin angular momentum transfer in a current-perpendicular spin-valve nanomagnet
Author(s): Jonathan Z. Sun; T. S. Kuan; J. A. Katine; Roger H. Koch
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Paper Abstract

Spin-angular momentum transfer (or spin-transfer for short) describes the angular momentum exchange between a spin-polarized current and a ferromagnetic conductor. When the conductor dimensions are reduced to around 100nm or below, the spin-angular momentum transfer effect becomes significant compared to the current-induced magnetic field. This paper describes some recent spin-transfer experimental findings in sub-100nm current-perpendicular spin-valve systems consisting of Co-Cu-Co nanopillars. The spin-transfer current is shown to cause a magnetic reversal of the thinner magnetic layer inside the nanopillar. The reversal is experimentally shown to reach sub-nanosecond speed. The effect of spin-transfer is best understood in terms of its modification to the effective Landau-Lifshiz-Gilbert damping coefficient, either increasing or decreasing its value depending on the direction and magnitude of the spin-polarized current. For sufficiently large spin-current, the net damping coefficient may change sign, resulting in amplification of magnetic precession, leading to a magnetic reversal. At finite temperatures, the effect of spin-transfer is to either increase or decrease the thermal agitation of the nanomagnet. A quantitative model is developed that adequately describes the finite temperature experimental observations of the dynamic spin-transfer effect.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 July 2004
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5359, Quantum Sensing and Nanophotonic Devices, (6 July 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.521195
Show Author Affiliations
Jonathan Z. Sun, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Ctr. (United States)
T. S. Kuan, SUNY/Albany (United States)
J. A. Katine, IBM Almaden Research Ctr. (United States)
Roger H. Koch, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5359:
Quantum Sensing and Nanophotonic Devices
Manijeh Razeghi; Gail J. Brown, Editor(s)

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