Spin–orbit torque can be used to manipulate magnetization in spintronic devices. However, conventional ferromagnetic spin–orbit torque systems have intrinsic limitations in terms of operation speed due to their inherent magnetization dynamics. Antiferromagnets and ferrimagnets with antiparallel exchange coupling exhibit faster spin dynamics and could potentially overcome these limitations. Here, we report ultrafast spin–orbit torque-induced magnetization switching in ferrimagnetic cobalt-gadolinium (CoGd) alloy devices. Using a stroboscopic pump–probe technique to perform time-resolved measurements, we show that the switching time in the ferrimagnets can be reduced to the subnanosecond regime and a domain wall velocity of 5.7 km s‒1 can be achieved, which is in agreement with analytical modelling and atomistic spin simulations. We also find that the switching energy efficiency in the ferrimagnets is one to two orders of magnitude higher than that of ferromagnets.
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The data that support the plots within this paper and other findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.
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This work was supported by the SpOT-LITE programme (A*STAR grant no. A18A6b0057) through RIE2020 funds and the National Research Foundation (NRF), Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore, under its Competitive Research Programme (CRP award no. NRFCRP12-2013-01). We thank K.J. Lee for discussions.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Cai, K., Zhu, Z., Lee, J.M. et al. Ultrafast and energy-efficient spin–orbit torque switching in compensated ferrimagnets. Nat Electron 3, 37–42 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41928-019-0345-8
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