Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Electron Induced Massive Dynamics of Magnetic Domain Walls



Hilary M. Hurst, Victor Galitski, Tero T. Heikkila


We study the dynamics of domain walls (DWs) in a metallic, ferromagnetic nanowire. We develop a Keldysh collective coordinate technique to describe the effect of conduction electrons on rigid magnetic structures. The effective Lagrangian and Langevin equations of motion for a DW are derived. The DW dynamics is described by two collective degrees of freedom: position and tilt-angle. The coupled Langevin equations therefore involve two correlated noise sources, leading to a generalized fluctuation-dissipation theorem (FDT). The DW response kernel due to electrons contains two parts: one related to dissipation via FDT, and another `inertial' part. We prove that the latter term leads to a mass for both degrees of freedom, even though the intrinsic bare mass is zero. The electron- induced mass is present even in a clean system without pinning or specifically engineered potentials. The resulting equations of motion contain rich dynamical solutions and point toward a new way to control domain wall motion in metals via the electronic system properties. We discuss two observable consequences of the mass, hysteresis in the DW dynamics and resonant response to ac current.
Physical Review X


magnetization dynamics , spintronics , domain wall


Hurst, H. , Galitski, V. and Heikkila, T. (2020), Electron Induced Massive Dynamics of Magnetic Domain Walls, Physical Review X, [online], (Accessed May 27, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created February 4, 2020, Updated March 3, 2020