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Spin-transfer torques for domain wall motion in antiferromagnetically coupled ferrimagnets

Abstract

Antiferromagnetic materials offer ultrafast spin dynamics and could be used to build devices that are orders of magnitude faster than those based on ferromagnetic materials. Spin-transfer torque is key to the electrical control of spins and has been demonstrated in ferromagnetic spintronics. However, experimental exploration of spin-transfer torque in antiferromagnets remains limited, despite a number of theoretical studies. Here, we report an experimental examination of the effects of spin-transfer torque on the motion of domain walls in antiferromagnetically coupled ferrimagnets. Using a ferrimagnetic gadolinium–iron–cobalt (GdFeCo) alloy in which Gd and FeCo moments are coupled antiferromagnetically, we find that non-adiabatic spin-transfer torque acts like a staggered magnetic field, providing efficient control of the domain walls. We also show that the non-adiabaticity parameter of the spin-transfer torque is significantly larger than the Gilbert damping parameter, in contrast to the case of non-adiabatic spin-transfer torque in ferromagnets.

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Fig. 1: Schematic of the measurement set-up and the DW velocity as a function of the magnetic field.
Fig. 2: Field and current contributions to DW velocity as a function of temperature.
Fig. 3: Ratio between the current-induced DW mobility μC and the field-induced DW mobility μF.

Data availability

All data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding authors on request.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the JSPS KAKENHI (grants 15H05702, 26870300, 26870304, 26103002, 26103004, 25220604 and 2604316), the Collaborative Research Program of the Institute for Chemical Research, Kyoto University and the R&D project for ICT Key Technology of MEXT from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). This work was partly supported by the Cooperative Research Project Program of the Research Institute of Electrical Communication, Tohoku University. D.-H.K. was supported as an Overseas Researcher under the Postdoctoral Fellowship of JSPS (grant P16314). S.K.K. and Y.T. acknowledge support from the Army Research Office under contract no. W911NF-14-1-0016. K.-J.K. was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP) (2017R1C1B2009686 and NRF-2016R1A5A1008184). K.-J.L. acknowledges support from the Samsung Research Funding Center of Samsung Electronics under project no. SRFCMA1702-02.

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Contributions

T.Okuno, D.-H.K., K.-J.K. and T.Ono planned the study. Y.F., H.Y. and A.T. grew and optimized the GdFeCo film. T.Okuno and D.-H.K. fabricated the device and performed the experiment. Y.H., T.N. and W.S.H. helped with the experiment. S.-H.O., S.K.K., Y.T. and K.-J.L. provided theory. T.Okuno, D.-H.K., S.K.K., Y.S., T.M., K.-J.K., K.-J.L. and T.Ono analysed the results. T.Okuno, D.-H.K., S.K.K., K.-J.K., K.-J.L. and T.Ono wrote the manuscript.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Duck-Ho Kim, Se Kwon Kim, Kyung-Jin Lee or Teruo Ono.

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Supplementary Information

Supplementary notes 1–5, Figs. 1–4 and references.

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Okuno, T., Kim, DH., Oh, SH. et al. Spin-transfer torques for domain wall motion in antiferromagnetically coupled ferrimagnets. Nat Electron 2, 389–393 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41928-019-0303-5

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