Department of Physics and Astronomy: Publications and Other Research


Date of this Version



Nature Communications | ( 2022) 13:4447 1.


Open access.


Current induced spin-orbit torques driven by the conventional spin Hall effect are widely used to manipulate the magnetization. This approach, however, is nondeterministic and inefficient for the switching of magnets with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy that are demanded by the high-density magnetic storage and memory devices. Here, we demonstrate that this limitation can be overcome by exploiting a magnetic spin Hall effect in noncollinear antiferromagnets, such as Mn3Sn. The magnetic group symmetry of Mn3Sn allows generation of the out-of-plane spin current carrying spin polarization collinear to its direction induced by an in-plane charge current. This spin current drives an out-of-plane anti-damping torque providing the deterministic switching of the perpendicular magnetization of an adjacent Ni/Co multilayer. Due to being odd with respect to time reversal symmetry, the observed magnetic spin Hall effect and the resulting spin-orbit torque can be reversed with reversal of the antiferromagnetic order. Contrary to the conventional spin-orbit torque devices, the demonstrated magnetization switching does not need an external magnetic field and requires much lower current density which is useful for low power spintronics.

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