Room temperature magnetization switching in topological insulator-ferromagnet heterostructures by spin-orbit torques

Yi Wang, Dapeng Zhu, Yang Wu, Yumeng Yang, Jiawei Yu, Rajagopalan Ramaswamy, Rahul Mishra, Shuyuan Shi, Mehrdad Elyasi, Kie Leong Teo, Yihong Wu, Hyunsoo Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Topological insulators with spin-momentum-locked topological surface states are expected to exhibit a giant spin-orbit torque in the topological insulator/ferromagnet systems. To date, the topological insulator spin-orbit torque-driven magnetization switching is solely reported in a Cr-doped topological insulator at 1.9 K. Here we directly show giant spin-orbit torque-driven magnetization switching in a Bi2Se3/NiFe heterostructure at room temperature captured using a magneto-optic Kerr effect microscope. We identify a large charge-to-spin conversion efficiency of ~1-1.75 in the thin Bi2Se3 films, where the topological surface states are dominant. In addition, we find the current density required for the magnetization switching is extremely low, ~6 × 105 A cm-2, which is one to two orders of magnitude smaller than that with heavy metals. Our demonstration of room temperature magnetization switching of a conventional 3d ferromagnet using Bi2Se3 may lead to potential innovations in topological insulator-based spintronic applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1364
JournalNature communications
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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