Anomalous spin-orbit torque switching due to field-like torque-assisted domain wall reflection.
Spin-orbit torques (SOT) allow the electrical control of magnetic states. Current-induced SOT switching of the perpendicular magnetization is of particular technological importance. The SOT consists of damping-like and field-like torques so that the efficient SOT switching requires to understand combined effects of the two torque-components. Previous quasi-static measurements have reported an increased switching probability with the width of current pulses, as predicted with considering the damping-like torque only. Here we report a decreased switching probability at longer pulse-widths, based on time-resolved measurements. Micromagnetic analysis reveals that this anomalous SOT switching results from domain wall reflections at sample edges. The domain wall reflection is found to strongly depend on the field-like torque and its relative sign to the damping-like torque. Our result demonstrates a key role of the field-like torque in the deterministic SOT switching and notifies the importance of sign correlation of the two torque-components, which may shed light on the SOT switching mechanism.
Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1711.05367
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