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Proceedings Paper

Spin-orbit torques in ultrathin ferromagnetic metal layers
Author(s): Ioan Mihai Miron; Gilles Gaudin; Stéphane Auffret; Bernard Rodmacq; Alain Schuhl; Stefania Pizzini; Jan Vogel; Pietro Gambardella
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Paper Abstract

The spin-orbit interaction constitutes a weak but essential perturbation to the Hamiltonian of magnetic systems. Linking spins with atomic structure, spin-orbit coupling assumes a prominent role in structures of reduced dimensionality, where it defines the internal anisotropy fields. In this paper, we discuss interface-enhanced spinorbit effects that arise in metallic multilayers in the presence of an electric current. We demonstrate that a novel type of spin torque can be induced in ferromagnetic metal films lacking structure inversion symmetry through the Rashba effect. Owing to the combination of spin-orbit and exchange interactions, we show that electrons flowing in the plane of a Co layer with asymmetric Pt and AlOx interfaces produce an effective transverse magnetic field of 1 T per 108 A/cm2 of applied current. This torque does not require a current flowing through noncollinear magnetic structures, opening new perspectives for room temperature applications in spintronics.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 September 2010
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 7760, Spintronics III, 77600Z (3 September 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.862356
Show Author Affiliations
Ioan Mihai Miron, Ctr. d'Investigació en Nanocieència i Nanotecnologia (Spain)
Gilles Gaudin, SPINTEC, CEA, CNRS, UJF, GINP, INAC (France)
Stéphane Auffret, SPINTEC, CEA, CNRS, UJF, GINP, INAC (France)
Bernard Rodmacq, SPINTEC, CEA, CNRS, UJF, GINP, INAC (France)
Alain Schuhl, SPINTEC, CEA, CNRS, UJF, GINP, INAC (France)
Stefania Pizzini, Institut Néel, CNRS, UJF (France)
Jan Vogel, Institut Néel, CNRS, UJF (France)
Pietro Gambardella, Ctr. d'Investigació en Nanocieència i Nanotecnologia (Spain)
Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (Spain)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7760:
Spintronics III
Henri-Jean M. Drouhin; Jean-Eric Wegrowe; Manijeh Razeghi, Editor(s)

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