Controllable spin-transfer torque on an antiferromagnet in a dual spin-valve
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionPhysical Review B. Condensed Matter and Materials Physics. 2011, 84 (9), . 10.1103/PhysRevB.84.094404
We consider current-induced spin-transfer torque on an antiferromagnet (AFM) in a dual spin-valve setup. It is demonstrated that a net magnetization may be induced in the AFM by partially or completely aligning the sublattice magnetizations via a current-induced spin-transfer torque. This effect occurs for current densities ranging below 10 6 A/cm 2 . The direction of the induced magnetization in the AFM is shown to be efficiently controlled by means of the magnetic configuration of the spin-valve setup, with the antiparallell configuration yielding the largest spin-transfer torque. Interestingly, the magnetization switching time scale τswitch itself has a strong, nonmonotonic dependence on the spin-valve configuration. These results may point toward new ways to incorporate AFMs in spintronic devices to obtain novel types of functionality.