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Spin torque switching with the giant spin Hall effect of tantalum


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      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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      13 March 2012

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      cond-mat.mtrl-sci cond-mat.mes-hall


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