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On the speed of piezostrain-mediated voltage-driven perpendicular magnetization reversal: a computational elastodynamics-micromagnetic phase-field study

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NPG Asia Materials

Springer Nature

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      Thermal Fluctuations of a Single-Domain Particle

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        Induction of coherent magnetization switching in a few atomic layers of FeCo using voltage pulses.

        The magnetization direction of a metallic magnet has generally been controlled by a magnetic field or by spin-current injection into nanosized magnetic cells. Both these methods use an electric current to control the magnetization direction; therefore, they are energy consuming. Magnetization control using an electric field is considered desirable because of its expected ultra-low power consumption and coherent behaviour. Previous experimental approaches towards achieving voltage control of magnetization switching have used single ferromagnetic layers with and without piezoelectric materials, ferromagnetic semiconductors, multiferroic materials, and their hybrid systems. However, the coherent control of magnetization using voltage signals has not thus far been realized. Also, bistable magnetization switching (which is essential in information storage) possesses intrinsic difficulties because an electric field does not break time-reversal symmetry. Here, we demonstrate a coherent precessional magnetization switching using electric field pulses in nanoscale magnetic cells with a few atomic FeCo (001) epitaxial layers adjacent to a MgO barrier. Furthermore, we demonstrate the realization of bistable toggle switching using the coherent precessions. The estimated power consumption for single switching in the ideal equivalent switching circuit can be of the order of 10(4)k(B)T, suggesting a reduction factor of 1/500 when compared with that of the spin-current-injection switching process.
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          Deterministic switching of ferromagnetism at room temperature using an electric field.

           J Heron,  J Bosse,  J. He (2014)
          The technological appeal of multiferroics is the ability to control magnetism with electric field. For devices to be useful, such control must be achieved at room temperature. The only single-phase multiferroic material exhibiting unambiguous magnetoelectric coupling at room temperature is BiFeO3 (refs 4 and 5). Its weak ferromagnetism arises from the canting of the antiferromagnetically aligned spins by the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya (DM) interaction. Prior theory considered the symmetry of the thermodynamic ground state and concluded that direct 180-degree switching of the DM vector by the ferroelectric polarization was forbidden. Instead, we examined the kinetics of the switching process, something not considered previously in theoretical work. Here we show a deterministic reversal of the DM vector and canted moment using an electric field at room temperature. First-principles calculations reveal that the switching kinetics favours a two-step switching process. In each step the DM vector and polarization are coupled and 180-degree deterministic switching of magnetization hence becomes possible, in agreement with experimental observation. We exploit this switching to demonstrate energy-efficient control of a spin-valve device at room temperature. The energy per unit area required is approximately an order of magnitude less than that needed for spin-transfer torque switching. Given that the DM interaction is fundamental to single-phase multiferroics and magnetoelectrics, our results suggest ways to engineer magnetoelectric switching and tailor technologically pertinent functionality for nanometre-scale, low-energy-consumption, non-volatile magnetoelectronics.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            NPG Asia Materials
            NPG Asia Mater
            Springer Nature
            1884-4057
            July 7 2017
            July 7 2017
            : 9
            : 7
            : e404
            10.1038/am.2017.97
            © 2017
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