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Phys Rev Lett. 2000 Apr 3;84(14):3149-52.

Current-driven magnetization reversal and spin-wave excitations in Co /Cu /Co pillars

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School of Applied and Engineering Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA.


Using thin film pillars approximately 100 nm in diameter, containing two Co layers of different thicknesses separated by a Cu spacer, we examine the process by which the scattering from the ferromagnetic layers of spin-polarized currents flowing perpendicular to the layers causes controlled reversal of the moment direction in the thin Co layer. The well-defined geometry permits a quantitative analysis of this spin-transfer effect, allowing tests of competing theories for the mechanism and also new insight concerning magnetic damping. When large magnetic fields are applied, the spin-polarized current no longer fully reverses the magnetic moment, but instead stimulates spin-wave excitations.

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