Domain wall motion in nanopillar spin-valves with perpendicular anisotropy driven by spin-transfer torques

J. Cucchiara, S. Le Gall, E. E. Fullerton, J. V. Kim, D. Ravelosona, Y. Henry, J. A. Katine, A. D. Kent, D. Bedau, D. Gopman, S. Mangin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Using transport measurements and micromagnetic simulations we have investigated the domain wall motion driven by spin-transfer torques in all-perpendicular hexagonal nanopillar spin-valves. In particular, we probe domain walls nucleated in the free layer of the spin-valves, which are then pinned in the devices. We have determined both the field-current state diagrams for the domain-wall state and the thermally activated dynamics of the nucleation and depinning processes. We show that the nucleation process is well-described by a modified Néel-Brown model taking into account the spin-transfer torque, whereas the depinning process is independent of the current. This is confirmed by an analytical calculation which shows that spin-torques have no effect on the Arrhenius escape rate associated with thermally activated domain wall depinning in this geometry. Furthermore, micromagnetic simulations indicate that spin-transfer only weakly affects the domain wall motion, but instead modifies the inner domain wall structure.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number214429
    JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
    Volume86
    Issue number21
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Dec 28 2012

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
    • Condensed Matter Physics

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