Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


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Published in JOURNAL OF PHYSICS: CONDENSED MATTER 17 (2005), pp. L39-L44. Copyright © 2005 IOP Publishing Ltd. Used by permission.


Magnetoelectric films are proposed as key components for spintronic applications. The net magnetic moment created by an electric field in a magnetoelectric thin film influences the magnetization state of a neighbouring ferromagnetic layer through exchange coupling. Pure electrical control of magnetic confi gurations of giant magnetoresistance spin valves and tunnelling magnetoresistance elements is therefore achievable. Estimates based on documented magnetoelectric tensor values show that exchange fields reaching 100 mT can be obtained. We propose a mechanism alternative to current-induced magnetization switching, providing access to a wide range of device impedance values and opening the possibility of simple logic functions.

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