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Voltage control of ferrimagnetic order and voltage-assisted writing of ferrimagnetic spin textures


Voltage control of magnetic order is desirable for spintronic device applications, but 180° magnetization switching is not straightforward because electric fields do not break time-reversal symmetry. Ferrimagnets are promising candidates for 180° switching owing to a multi-sublattice configuration with opposing magnetic moments of different magnitudes. In this study we used solid-state hydrogen gating to control the ferrimagnetic order in rare earth–transition metal thin films dynamically. Electric field-induced hydrogen loading/unloading in GdCo can shift the magnetic compensation temperature by more than 100 K, which enables control of the dominant magnetic sublattice. X-ray magnetic circular dichroism measurements and ab initio calculations indicate that the magnetization control originates from the weakening of antiferromagnetic exchange coupling that reduces the magnetization of Gd more than that of Co upon hydrogenation. We observed reversible, gate voltage-induced net magnetization switching and full 180° Néel vector reversal in the absence of external magnetic fields. Furthermore, we generated ferrimagnetic spin textures, such as chiral domain walls and skyrmions, in racetrack devices through hydrogen gating. With gating times as short as 50 μs and endurance of more than 10,000 cycles, our method provides a powerful means to tune ferrimagnetic spin textures and dynamics, with broad applicability in the rapidly emerging field of ferrimagnetic spintronics.

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Fig. 1: Dominant sublattice toggling and compensation temperature gating of GdCo.
Fig. 2: XMCD and MFA modelling of the effect of hydrogen gating on GdCo.
Fig. 3: Ab initio calculations of the effect of hydrogen loading.
Fig. 4: Reversibility and speed of dominant sublattice gating characterized by electrical measurements.
Fig. 5: Deterministic 180° voltage-controlled reversal of net magnetization and Néel vector in the absence of an external field.
Fig. 6: Reversed domain and skyrmion generation based on voltage gating of GdCo.

Data availability

Source data are provided with this paper. The XMCD spectra that support the findings of this study are publicly available at


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This work was supported in part by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) under award number DMR-1419807 and through NSF award number ECCS-1808828, by SMART, one of seven centres of nCORE, a Semiconductor Research Corporation program, sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), by DARPA ERI FRANC program under HR001117S0056-FP-042, by the DARPA TEE program under HR001117S0038-D18AC0019, by the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) Institutional Program (2E31032) and a National Research Council of Science and Technology (NST) grant (CAP-16-01-KIST) by the Korea government (MSIP), and by the German Science Foundation (DFG) under project 400178764. This work used the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) computational resources provided through allocation TG-DMR190038. The work was performed using the facilities in the MIT Microsystems Technology Laboratory and in the Center for Materials Science and Engineering, supported by the NSF MRSEC program under award number DMR-1419807. Portions of this work were conducted in the Minnesota Nano Center, which is supported by the NSF through the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI) under award number ECCS-2025124. M.V. and P.G. acknowledge additional funding through grants from MINECO FIS2016-78591-C3-2-R (AEI/FEDER, UE) and FLAG-ERA SographMEM (PCI2019-111908-2). M.H. acknowledges financial support from the Kavanaugh Fellows Program in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT. L.C. acknowledges financial support from the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and the GEM Consortium. The authors thank L. Liu for use of ion-milling equipment.

Author information




M.H. and G.S.D.B conceived and designed the experiments. G.S.D.B., J.C., K.L., B.Y. and J.-P.W. supervised the respective members of the study. M.H., M.U.H., D.Z., D.L. and J.Z. fabricated the samples. M.H., M.U.H. and J.Z. performed MOKE and electrical characterizations. S.S., A.C., P.G., M.V. and M.H. conducted the XMCD measurements. M.H. and F.B. processed the XMCD measurements with help from M.V. and P.G. M.H. carried out the mean-field modelling. K.K. performed the ab initio and spin dynamics calculations. M.H. set up the temperature-dependent MOKE apparatus with help from L.C. K.-Y.L. performed the structural and chemical analyses. M.H. wrote the manuscript with guidance from G.S.D.B. All authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Geoffrey S. D. Beach.

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Peer review information Nature Nanotechnology thanks Christian Binek, Morgan Trassin and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

Supplementary Figs. 1–7 and Discussion.

Supplementary Video 1

Time sequence of the coercivity and hysteresis loop when VG is cycled between +3 and −1.5 V.

Source data

Source Data Fig. 1

Numerical data used to generate the graphs in the figures.

Source Data Fig. 2

Numerical data used to generate the graphs in the figures.

Source Data Fig. 3

Numerical data used to generate the graphs in the figures.

Source Data Fig. 4

Numerical data used to generate the graphs in the figures.

Source Data Fig. 5

Numerical data used to generate the graphs in the figures.

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Huang, M., Hasan, M.U., Klyukin, K. et al. Voltage control of ferrimagnetic order and voltage-assisted writing of ferrimagnetic spin textures. Nat. Nanotechnol. 16, 981–988 (2021).

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