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Electric-field induced domain-wall dynamics: depinning and chirality switching

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      Abstract

      We theoretically study the equilibrium and dynamic properties of nanoscale magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) and magnetic wires, in which an electric field controls the magnetic anisotropy through spin-orbit coupling. By performing micromagnetic simulations, we construct a rich phase diagram and find that, in particular, the equilibrium magnetic textures can be tuned between Neel and Bloch domain walls in an elliptical MTJ. Furthermore, we develop a phenomenological model of a quasi-one-dimensional domain wall confined by a parabolic potential and show that, near the Neel-to-Bloch-wall transition, a pulsed electric field induces precessional domain-wall motion which can be used to reverse the chirality of a Neel wall and even depin it. This domain-wall motion controlled by electric fields, in lieu of applied current, may provide a model for ultra-low-power domain-wall memory and logic devices.

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      Most cited references 5

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      Magnetic domain-wall racetrack memory.

      Recent developments in the controlled movement of domain walls in magnetic nanowires by short pulses of spin-polarized current give promise of a nonvolatile memory device with the high performance and reliability of conventional solid-state memory but at the low cost of conventional magnetic disk drive storage. The racetrack memory described in this review comprises an array of magnetic nanowires arranged horizontally or vertically on a silicon chip. Individual spintronic reading and writing nanodevices are used to modify or read a train of approximately 10 to 100 domain walls, which store a series of data bits in each nanowire. This racetrack memory is an example of the move toward innately three-dimensional microelectronic devices.
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        Voltage-Induced Ferromagnetic Resonance in Magnetic Tunnel Junctions

        We demonstrate excitation of ferromagnetic resonance in CoFeB/MgO/CoFeB magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) by the combined action of voltage-controlled magnetic anisotropy (VCMA) and spin transfer torque (ST). Our measurements reveal that GHz-frequency VCMA torque and ST in low-resistance MTJs have similar magnitudes, and thus that both torques are equally important for understanding high-frequency voltage-driven magnetization dynamics in MTJs. As an example, we show that VCMA can increase the sensitivity of an MTJ-based microwave signal detector to the sensitivity level of semiconductor Schottky diodes.
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          Dynamics of domain walls in magnetic nanostrips

          We express dynamics of domain walls in ferromagnetic nanowires in terms of collective coordinates generalizing Thiele's steady-state results. For weak external perturbations the dynamics is dominated by a few soft modes. The general approach is illustrated on the example of a vortex wall relevant to recent experiments with flat nanowires. A two-mode approximation gives a quantitatively accurate description of both the steady viscous motion of the wall in weak magnetic fields and its oscillatory behavior in moderately high fields above the Walker breakdown.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            14 September 2013
            1309.3693
            10.1103/PhysRevB.88.224422

            http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

            Custom metadata
            6 pages, 6 figures
            cond-mat.mes-hall

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