Field-free spin-orbit torque switching via out-of-plane spin-polarization induced by an antiferromagnetic insulator/heavy metal interface

Mengxi Wang, Jun Zhou, Xiaoguang Xu, Tanzhao Zhang, Zhiqiang Zhu, Zhixian Guo, Yibo Deng, Ming Yang, Kangkang Meng, Bin He, Jialiang Li, Guoqiang Yu, Tao Zhu, Ang Li, Xiaodong Han, Yong Jiang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Manipulating spin polarization orientation is challenging but crucial for field-free spintronic devices. Although such manipulation has been demonstrated in a limited number of antiferromagnetic metal-based systems, the inevitable shunting effects from the metallic layer can reduce the overall device efficiency. In this study, we propose an antiferromagnetic insulator-based heterostructure NiO/Ta/Pt/Co/Pt for such spin polarization control without any shunting effect in the antiferromagnetic layer. We show that zero-field magnetization switching can be realized and is related to the out-of-plane component of spin polarization modulated by the NiO/Pt interface. The zero-field magnetization switching ratio can be effectively tuned by the substrates, in which the easy axis of NiO can be manipulated by the tensile or compressive strain from the substrates. Our work demonstrates that the insulating antiferromagnet based heterostructure is a promising platform to enhance the spin-orbital torque efficiency and achieve field-free magnetization switching, thus opening an avenue towards energy-efficient spintronic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2871
JournalNature Communications
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy

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