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Zero-field current switching of magnetic domains via chiral domain walls



Yufan Li, Qinli Ma, Daniel Gopman, Yury Kabanov, Robert D. Shull, C Chien


In ferromagnetic (FM) materials, the inherent exchange interaction, magnetic anisotropy, & dipolar forces dictate the domain walls (DWs), Bloch or N´eel, that separate magnetic moments. However, in FM thin films in contact with heavy metal (HM) with strong spin-orbit interaction, other exterior factors may dominate or even dictate the behavior of the adjacent FM layer. In particular, the interfacial Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction (DMI) inherent to HM/FM thin films with broken inversion symmetry stabilizes single-chirality N´eel walls, which enables phenomena such as spin-orbit torque (SOT) magnetization switching and magnetic skyrmion formation. Here we show evidence that by using a strategic combination of HMs, a novel DW structure distinct from all the known types, is present in Pt/W/CoFeB trilayer structure. In such a DW, the net wall magnetization rotates along the wall orientation with a set chirality, which is consistent with a skyrmion with topological charge greater than 1. The new chiral DW breaks rotational symmetry, therefore allows switching magnetic domain and generating magnetic skyrmion bubbles without a magnetic field.
Nature Materials


Li, Y. , Ma, Q. , Gopman, D. , Kabanov, Y. , Shull, R. and Chien, C. (2018), Zero-field current switching of magnetic domains via chiral domain walls, Nature Materials, [online],, (Accessed April 19, 2024)
Created March 15, 2018, Updated October 12, 2021