Spin Current Detection and Current Induced Magnetic Moment Switching in Magnetic Multilayers

  • Yan Wen

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


In the past two decades, the interest in materials with strong spin-orbit coupling has attracted substantial attention because of the novel physical mechanisms they display and their potential for applications. The interface displaying large spin-orbit coupling has been recognized as a powerful platform to investigate the spin transport in ferromagnetic, antiferromagnetic, and non-magnetic materials, as well as their interfaces. Besides its rich physics, the related applications are also worth studying. The current-induced spin-orbit-torque arising from angular momentum transfer from the lattice to the spin system has substantial potential in recent state-of-art spin-orbit torque magnetic random access memory. In this dissertation, we have been interested in better understanding and characterizing the spin-orbit torque and spin Hall transport in various heterostructures of interest. We used the second harmonic method to determine the magnitude of the spin currents generation and transmission in Cu-Au alloy and Ir-Mn compound, respectively. We also characterized the device performance in selected heterostructures displaying either perpendicular MgO-based tunnel magnetoresistance or unusual surface states. Finally, we used these properties to approach spin-orbit torque magnetic random access memory through designing, fabricating, and characterizing the devices that focused on current-induced spin-orbit-torque magnetization switching.
Date of AwardJun 28 2020
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorXixiang Zhang (Supervisor)


  • spin current
  • spin-orbit torque
  • magnetism
  • antiferromagnets
  • tunnel magnetoresistance

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