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Current-induced resonance and mass determination of a single magnetic domain wall


A magnetic domain wall (DW) is a spatially localized change of magnetization configuration in a magnet. This topological object has been predicted to behave at low energy as a composite particle with finite mass1. This particle will couple directly with electric currents as well as magnetic fields, and its manipulation using electric currents2,3,4,5,6,7,8 is of particular interest with regard to the development of high-density magnetic memories9. The DW mass sets the ultimate operation speed of these devices, but has yet to be determined experimentally. Here we report the direct observation of the dynamics of a single DW in a ferromagnetic nanowire, which demonstrates that such a topological particle has a very small but finite mass of 6.6 × 10-23 kg. This measurement was realized by preparing a tunable DW potential in the nanowire, and detecting the resonance motion of the DW induced by an oscillating current. The resonance also allows low-current operation, which is crucial in device applications; a DW displacement of 10 µm was induced by a current density of 1010 A m-2.

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Figure 1: Experimental set-up.
Figure 2: Comparison between experimental results with and without a domain wall (DW).
Figure 3: External-field dependence of the a.c. resistance spectra.


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This work was supported by a Grant-in-Aid from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, Japan. G.T. thanks The Mitsubishi Foundation for financial support.

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Correspondence to Eiji Saitoh.

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Saitoh, E., Miyajima, H., Yamaoka, T. et al. Current-induced resonance and mass determination of a single magnetic domain wall. Nature 432, 203–206 (2004).

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