Field-free deterministic switching of a perpendicularly polarized magnet using unconventional spin-orbit torques in WTe2
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Field-free deterministic switching of a perpendicularly polarized magnet using unconventional spin-orbit torques in WTe2

  • Author(s): Kao, I-Hsuan;
  • Muzzio, Ryan;
  • Zhang, Hantao;
  • Zhu, Menglin;
  • Gobbo, Jacob;
  • Weber, Daniel;
  • Rao, Rahul;
  • Li, Jiahan;
  • Edgar, James H;
  • Goldberger, Joshua E;
  • Yan, Jiaqiang;
  • Mandrus, David G;
  • Hwang, Jinwoo;
  • Cheng, Ran;
  • Katoch, Jyoti;
  • Singh, Simranjeet
  • et al.
Abstract

Spin-orbit torque (SOT) driven deterministic control of the magnetization state of a magnet with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA) is key to next generation spintronic applications including non-volatile, ultrafast, and energy efficient data storage devices. But, field-free deterministic switching of perpendicular magnetization remains a challenge because it requires an out-of-plane anti-damping torque, which is not allowed in conventional spin source materials such as heavy metals (HM) and topological insulators due to the system's symmetry. The exploitation of low-crystal symmetries in emergent quantum materials offers a unique approach to achieve SOTs with unconventional forms. Here, we report the first experimental realization of field-free deterministic magnetic switching of a perpendicularly polarized van der Waals (vdW) magnet employing an out-of-plane anti-damping SOT generated in layered WTe2 which is a low-crystal symmetry quantum material. The numerical simulations confirm that out-of-plane antidamping torque in WTe2 is responsible for the observed magnetization switching in the perpendicular direction.

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