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Nat Commun. 2014 May 23;5:3910. doi: 10.1038/ncomms4910.

Chiral spin torque arising from proximity-induced magnetization.

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  • 1IBM Almaden Research Center, 650 Harry Road, San Jose, California 95120, USA.
  • 21] IBM Almaden Research Center, 650 Harry Road, San Jose, California 95120, USA [2].


Domain walls can be driven by current at very high speeds in nanowires formed from ultra-thin, perpendicularly magnetized cobalt layers and cobalt/nickel multilayers deposited on platinum underlayers due to a chiral spin torque. An important feature of this torque is a magnetic chiral exchange field that each domain wall senses and that can be measured by the applied magnetic field amplitude along the nanowire where the domain walls stop moving irrespective of the magnitude of the current. Here we show that this torque is manifested when the magnetic layer is interfaced with metals that display a large proximity-induced magnetization, including iridium, palladium and platinum but not gold. A correlation between the strength of the chiral spin torque and the proximity-induced magnetic moment is demonstrated by interface engineering using atomically thin dusting layers. High domain velocities are found where there are large proximity-induced magnetizations in the interfaced metal layers.

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