Minimum action paths for spin-torque assisted thermally induced magnetization reversal

Gabriel D. Chaves-O'Flynn, Daniel L. Stein, Andrew D. Kent, Eric Vanden-Eijnden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We calculate the most probable reaction paths for thermally induced magnetization reversal of a nanomagnet under the influence of spin transfer torque. The presence of the spin transfer torque implies that the standard reaction rate theory of Kramers cannot be used since the dynamics no longer shows detailed balance and so the magnetization reversals are nonequilibrium transitions. Thin film nanomagnets with a biaxial anisotropy, a shape anisotropy that leads to in-plane magnetization with a preferred axis in the plane, are considered. The reaction pathways and rates are computed using geometrical Minimum Action Method. Our results indicate that the transition state has an out-of-plane magnetization component, in contrast to the case without an applied spin transfer torque.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number07C918
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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