Efficient full spin-orbit torque switching in a single layer of a perpendicularly magnetized single-crystalline ferromagnet


M. Jiang, H. Asahara, S. Sato, T. Kanaki, H. Yamasaki, S. Ohya, and M. Tanaka

Spin–orbit torque (SOT), which is induced by an in-plane electric current via large spin-orbit coupling, enables an innovative method of manipulating the magnetization of ferromagnets by means of current injection. In conventional SOT bilayer systems, the magnetization switching efficiency strongly depends on the interface quality and the strength of the intrinsic spin Hall Effect. Here, we demonstrate highly efficient full SOT switching achieved by applying a current in a single layer of perpendicularly magnetized ferromagnetic semiconductor GaMnAs with an extremely small current density of 3.4 × 105 A cm−2, which is two orders of magnitude smaller than that needed in typical metal bilayer systems. This low required current density is attributed to the intrinsic bulk inversion asymmetry of GaMnAs as well as its high-quality single crystallinity and large spin polarization. Our findings will contribute to advancements in the electrical control of magnetism and its practical application in semiconductor devices.



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