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Relativistic torques induced by currents in magnetic materials: physics and experiments
, Sinha J.
Published in Royal Society of Chemistry
Volume: 8
Issue: 44
Pages: 25079 - 25093
In this review article, an insight of the physics that explains the phenomenon of torques induced by currents in systems comprising ferromagnetic (FM)-non-magnetic (NM) materials has been provided with particular emphasis on experiments that concern the observation of such torques. An important requirement of systems that enables observation of such relativistic torques is that the material needs to possess large spin-orbit coupling (SOC). In addition, the FM/NM interface should be of high quality so that spin angular momentum can be transferred across the interface. Under such conditions, the magnetization of a magnetic material experiences a torque, and can be reversed, thanks to the phenomenon of the spin Hall effect in the NM layer with large SOC. A reciprocal process also occurs, in which a changing magnetization orientation can produce spin current, i.e. current that supports spin angular momentum. It is important to know how these processes occur which often tells us about the close connection between magnetization and spin transport. This paves the way to transform technologies that process information via magnetization direction, namely in magnetic recording industry. This field of physics being relatively young much remains to be understood and explored. Through this review we have attempted to provide a glimpse of existing understanding of current induced torques in ferromagnetic thin film heterostructures along with some future challenges and opportunities of this evolving area of spintronics. Specifically, we have discussed the state-of-the art demonstrations of current-induced torque devices that show great promise for enhancing the functionality of magnetic memory devices. © The Royal Society of Chemistry.
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