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      Current-induced spin-orbit torques in ferromagnetic and antiferromagnetic systems

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          Abstract

          Spin-orbit coupling in inversion-asymmetric magnetic crystals and structures has emerged as a powerful tool to generate complex magnetic textures, interconvert charge and spin under applied current, and control magnetization dynamics. Current-induced spin-orbit torques mediate the transfer of angular momentum from the lattice to the spin system, leading to sustained magnetic oscillations or switching of ferromagnetic as well as antiferromagnetic structures. The manipulation of magnetic order, domain walls and skyrmions by spin-orbit torques provides evidence of the microscopic interactions between charge and spin in a variety of materials and opens novel strategies to design spintronic devices with potentially high impact in data storage, nonvolatile logic, and magnonic applications. This paper reviews recent progress in the field of spin-orbitronics, focusing on theoretical models, material properties, and experimental results obtained on bulk noncentrosymmetric conductors and multilayer heterostructures, including metals, semiconductors, and topological insulator systems. Relevant aspects for improving the understanding and optimizing the efficiency of nonequilibrium spin-orbit phenomena in future nanoscale devices are also discussed.

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          Topological Insulators

           ,   (2011)
          Topological insulators are electronic materials that have a bulk band gap like an ordinary insulator, but have protected conducting states on their edge or surface. The 2D topological insulator is a quantum spin Hall insulator, which is a close cousin of the integer quantum Hall state. A 3D topological insulator supports novel spin polarized 2D Dirac fermions on its surface. In this Colloquium article we will review the theoretical foundation for these electronic states and describe recent experiments in which their signatures have been observed. We will describe transport experiments on HgCdTe quantum wells that demonstrate the existence of the edge states predicted for the quantum spin Hall insulator. We will then discuss experiments on Bi_{1-x}Sb_x, Bi_2 Se_3, Bi_2 Te_3 and Sb_2 Te_3 that establish these materials as 3D topological insulators and directly probe the topology of their surface states. We will then describe exotic states that can occur at the surface of a 3D topological insulator due to an induced energy gap. A magnetic gap leads to a novel quantum Hall state that gives rise to a topological magnetoelectric effect. A superconducting energy gap leads to a state that supports Majorana fermions, and may provide a new venue for realizing proposals for topological quantum computation. We will close by discussing prospects for observing these exotic states, a well as other potential device applications of topological insulators.
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            Spintronics: Fundamentals and applications

            Spintronics, or spin electronics, involves the study of active control and manipulation of spin degrees of freedom in solid-state systems. This article reviews the current status of this subject, including both recent advances and well-established results. The primary focus is on the basic physical principles underlying the generation of carrier spin polarization, spin dynamics, and spin-polarized transport in semiconductors and metals. Spin transport differs from charge transport in that spin is a nonconserved quantity in solids due to spin-orbit and hyperfine coupling. The authors discuss in detail spin decoherence mechanisms in metals and semiconductors. Various theories of spin injection and spin-polarized transport are applied to hybrid structures relevant to spin-based devices and fundamental studies of materials properties. Experimental work is reviewed with the emphasis on projected applications, in which external electric and magnetic fields and illumination by light will be used to control spin and charge dynamics to create new functionalities not feasible or ineffective with conventional electronics.
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              Spin torque switching with the giant spin Hall effect of tantalum

              We report a giant spin Hall effect (SHE) in {\beta}-Ta that generates spin currents intense enough to induce efficient spin-transfer-torque switching of ferromagnets, thereby providing a new approach for controlling magnetic devices that can be superior to existing technologies. We quantify this SHE by three independent methods and demonstrate spin-torque (ST) switching of both out-of-plane and in-plane magnetized layers. We implement a three-terminal device that utilizes current passing through a low impedance Ta-ferromagnet bilayer to effect switching of a nanomagnet, with a higher-impedance magnetic tunnel junction for read-out. The efficiency and reliability of this device, together with its simplicity of fabrication, suggest that this three-terminal SHE-ST design can eliminate the main obstacles currently impeding the development of magnetic memory and non-volatile spin logic technologies.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                29 January 2018
                Article
                1801.09636

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

                Custom metadata
                72 pages, 47 figures
                cond-mat.mes-hall

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