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Chin. Phys. B, 2020, Vol. 29(7): 078505    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/ab9439

Perpendicular magnetization switching by large spin—orbit torques from sputtered Bi2Te3

Zhenyi Zheng(郑臻益)1,2,3, Yue Zhang(张悦)1, Daoqian Zhu(朱道乾)1, Kun Zhang(张昆)1, Xueqiang Feng(冯学强)1, Yu He(何宇)1, Lei Chen(陈磊)1, Zhizhong Zhang(张志仲)1,2, Dijun Liu(刘迪军)2, Youguang Zhang(张有光)1,2, Pedram Khalili Amiri3, Weisheng Zhao(赵巍胜)1
1 Fert Beijing Research Institute, BDBC, School of Microelectronics, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China;
2 School of Electronics and Information Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China;
3 Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA
Abstract  Spin-orbit torque (SOT) effect is considered as an efficient way to switch the magnetization and can inspire various high-performance spintronic devices. Recently, topological insulators (TIs) have gained extensive attention, as they are demonstrated to maintain a large effective spin Hall angle (θSHeff), even at room temperature. However, molecular beam epitaxy (MBE), as a precise deposition method, is required to guarantee favorable surface states of TIs, which hinders the prospect of TIs towards industrial application. In this paper, we demonstrate that Bi2Te3 films grown by magnetron sputtering can provide a notable SOT effect in the heterostructure with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy CoTb ferrimagnetic alloy. By harmonic Hall measurement, a high SOT efficiency (8.7±0.9 Oe/(109 A/m2)) and a large θSHeff (3.3±0.3) are obtained at room temperature. Besides, we also observe an ultra-low critical switching current density (9.7×109 A/m2). Moreover, the low-power characteristic of the sputtered Bi2Te3 film is investigated by drawing a comparison with different sputtered SOT sources. Our work may provide an alternative to leverage chalcogenides as a realistic and efficient SOT source in future spintronic devices.
Keywords:  spin-orbit torque      sputtered topological insulator      ferrimagnet      magnetization switching  
Received:  02 April 2020      Revised:  13 May 2020      Accepted manuscript online: 
PACS:  85.70.-w (Magnetic devices)  
  75.60.Jk (Magnetization reversal mechanisms)  
  75.70.Tj (Spin-orbit effects)  
Fund: Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 61971024 and 51901008), Young Elite Scientist Sponsorship Program by CAST (Grant No. 2017QNRC001), the International Mobility Project (Grant No. B16001), and National Key Technology Program of China (Grant No. 2017ZX01032101). P.K.A. acknowledges support by a grant from the National Science Foundation, Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (NSF ECCS-1853879).
Corresponding Authors:  Yue Zhang, Weisheng Zhao     E-mail:;

Cite this article: 

Zhenyi Zheng(郑臻益), Yue Zhang(张悦), Daoqian Zhu(朱道乾), Kun Zhang(张昆), Xueqiang Feng(冯学强), Yu He(何宇), Lei Chen(陈磊), Zhizhong Zhang(张志仲), Dijun Liu(刘迪军), Youguang Zhang(张有光), Pedram Khalili Amiri, Weisheng Zhao(赵巍胜) Perpendicular magnetization switching by large spin—orbit torques from sputtered Bi2Te3 2020 Chin. Phys. B 29 078505

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