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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Deterministic Domain Wall Motion Orthogonal To Current Flow Due To Spin Orbit Torque.

  • Author(s): Bhowmik, Debanjan
  • Nowakowski, Mark E
  • You, Long
  • Lee, OukJae
  • Keating, David
  • Wong, Mark
  • Bokor, Jeffrey
  • Salahuddin, Sayeef
  • et al.

Published Web Location

https://doi.org/10.1038/srep11823
Abstract

Spin-polarized electrons can move a ferromagnetic domain wall through the transfer of spin angular momentum when current flows in a magnetic nanowire. Such current induced control of a domain wall is of significant interest due to its potential application for low power ultra high-density data storage. In previous reports, it has been observed that the motion of the domain wall always happens parallel to the current flow - either in the same or opposite direction depending on the specific nature of the interaction. In contrast, here we demonstrate deterministic control of a ferromagnetic domain wall orthogonal to current flow by exploiting the spin orbit torque in a perpendicularly polarized Ta/CoFeB/MgO heterostructure in presence of an in-plane magnetic field. Reversing the polarity of either the current flow or the in-plane field is found to reverse the direction of the domain wall motion. Notably, such orthogonal motion with respect to current flow is not possible from traditional spin transfer torque driven domain wall propagation even in presence of an external magnetic field. Therefore the domain wall motion happens purely due to spin orbit torque. These results represent a completely new degree of freedom in current induced control of a ferromagnetic domain wall.

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