Spin-Orbit Torques

Experiments and Theory

Authored by: Aurélien Manchon , Hyunsoo Yang

Spintronics Handbook: Spin Transport and Magnetism, Second Edition

Print publication date:  May  2019
Online publication date:  May  2019

Print ISBN: 9781498769525
eBook ISBN: 9780429423079
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/9780429423079-9

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Abstract

The electric control of the magnetic order parameter is a powerful means to operate spin devices. While conventional spin transfer torque requires the existence of a spin polarizer and therefore a spin-valve configuration or a magnetic texture, an alter native approach has been intensively investigated in the past ten years. This approach exploits the spin-orbit coupling in inversion asymmetric magnetic structures. In this configuration, a direct transfer of angular momentum between orbital and spin degrees of freedom occurs and a torque is exerted on the magnetization. This torque has been observed experimentally in a wide variety of non-centrosymmetric materials, from magnetic multilayers to the surface of topological insulators and zinc-blende semiconductors (see Figure 9.1). The concept of spin-orbit torque, and its Onsager reciprocal, the charge pumping, are introduced in Section 9.1. The methods used to measure spin-orbit torques are presented in Section 9.2. The nature of the torque observed in metallic multilayers, bulk non-centrosymmetric magnets, and two-dimensional systems are addressed in Sections 9.3 through 9.5. Besides spin-orbit torque, non-centrosymmetric magnets also display chiral magnetic textures with fascinating dynamics. These aspects are addressed in Section 9.6. Finally, Section 9.7 offers conclusion and perspectives. Figure 9.1 In magnets lacking inversion symmetry, such as magnetic interfaces or non-centrosymmetric magnetic crystals, the presence of spin-orbit coupling gives rise to a variety of phenomena among which spin-orbit torques, chiral magnetic textures, and chirality-dependent energy dissipation.

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