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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)