A spin-orbit torque switching scheme with collinear magnetic easy axis and current configuration

S. Fukami, T. Anekawa, C. Zhang, H. Ohno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

324 Citations (Scopus)


Spin-orbit torque, a torque brought about by in-plane current via the spin-orbit interactions in heavy-metal/ferromagnet nanostructures, provides a new pathway to switch the magnetization direction. Although there are many recent studies, they all build on one of two structures that have the easy axis of a nanomagnet lying orthogonal to the current, that is, along the z or y axes. Here, we present a new structure with the third geometry, that is, with the easy axis collinear with the current (along the x axis). We fabricate a three-terminal device with a Ta/CoFeB/MgO-based stack and demonstrate the switching operation driven by the spin-orbit torque due to Ta with a negative spin Hall angle. Comparisons with different geometries highlight the previously unknown mechanisms of spin-orbit torque switching. Our work offers a new avenue for exploring the physics of spin-orbit torque switching and its application to spintronics devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-625
Number of pages5
JournalNature Nanotechnology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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