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Sci Rep. 2015 Jan 29;5:8120. doi: 10.1038/srep08120.

Thermally induced magnetization switching in Fe/MnAs/GaAs(001): selectable magnetic configurations by temperature and field control.

Author information

1
ELETTRA Sincrotrone Trieste, S.S.14, Km 163.5, 34012, Trieste, Italy.
2
1] Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR 7588, INSP, 75005, Paris, France [2] CNRS, UMR 7588, Institut des NanoSciences de Paris, 75005, Paris, France.
3
1] Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR 7614, LCPMR, 75005 Paris, France [2] CNRS, UMR 7614, LCPMR, 75005 Paris, France.
4
1] Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR 7588, INSP, 75005, Paris, France [2] CNRS, UMR 7588, Institut des NanoSciences de Paris, 75005, Paris, France [3] Institut VeDeCoM - UVSQ, 78000 Versailles, France.
5
Synchrotron SOLEIL, B.P. 48, 91192 Gif-sur-Yvette, France.
6
1] Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR 7588, INSP, 75005, Paris, France [2] CNRS, UMR 7588, Institut des NanoSciences de Paris, 75005, Paris, France [3] Synchrotron SOLEIL, B.P. 48, 91192 Gif-sur-Yvette, France.

Abstract

Spintronic devices currently rely on magnetization control by external magnetic fields or spin-polarized currents. Developing temperature-driven magnetization control has potential for achieving enhanced device functionalities. Recently, there has been much interest in thermally induced magnetisation switching (TIMS), where the temperature control of intrinsic material properties drives a deterministic switching without applying external fields. TIMS, mainly investigated in rare-earth-transition-metal ferrimagnets, has also been observed in epitaxial Fe/MnAs/GaAs(001), where it stems from a completely different physical mechanism. In Fe/MnAs temperature actually modifies the surface dipolar fields associated with the MnAs magnetic microstructure. This in turn determines the effective magnetic field acting on the Fe overlayer. In this way one can reverse the Fe magnetization direction by performing thermal cycles at ambient temperatures. Here we use element selective magnetization measurements to demonstrate that various magnetic configurations of the Fe/MnAs/GaAs(001) system are stabilized predictably by acting on the thermal cycle parameters and on the presence of a bias field. We show in particular that the maximum temperature reached during the cycle affects the final magnetic configuration. Our findings show that applications are possible for fast magnetization switching, where local temperature changes are induced by laser excitations.

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