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Point-contact studies of current-controlled domain switching in magnetic multilayers

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5 Author(s)
Myers, E.B. ; Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853 ; Ralph, D.C. ; Katine, J.A. ; Albert, F.J.
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We present measurements demonstrating current-induced magnetic domain switching, and also other magnetic excitations, in point-contact devices containing alternating ferromagnetic (F) and noble metal (N) layers, for perpendicular currents ∼109A/cm2. For F/N/F trilayers in which one F layer is much thinner than the other, we can controllably switch the magnetic moments in the two F layers parallel with a current bias of one sign, and switch them antiparallel with a reversed current. For thicker magnetic films, and for thin films in the presence of a saturating magnetic field, we observe nonhysteretic current-induced changes in resistance, which can be understood as current-induced spin-wave excitations. These observations are in agreement with a model of current-induced magnetic reorientations caused by local exchange forces between conduction electrons and the magnetic moments. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:87 ,  Issue: 9 )