Publication:
Room-temperature spin-orbit torque in NiMnSb

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Date
16/05/16
Authors
Tshitoyan, V
Ferguson, AJ
Gerhard, F
Gould, C
Molenkamp, LW
Gayles, J
Železný, J
Šámejkal, L
Yuan, Z
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Nature Publishing Group
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unspecified
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268066
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Materials that crystallize in diamond-related lattices, with Si and GaAs as their prime examples, are at the foundation of modern electronics. Simultaneously, inversion asymmetries in their crystal structure and relativistic spin-orbit coupling led to discoveries of non-equilibrium spin-polarization phenomena that are now extensively explored as an electrical means for manipulating magnetic moments in a variety of spintronic structures. Current research of these relativistic spin-orbit torques focuses primarily on magnetic transition-metal multilayers. The low-temperature diluted magnetic semiconductor (Ga, Mn)As, in which spin-orbit torques were initially discovered, has so far remained the only example showing the phenomenon among bulk non-centrosymmetric ferromagnets. Here we present a general framework, based on the complete set of crystallographic point groups, for identifying the potential presence and symmetry of spin-orbit torques in non-centrosymmetric crystals. Among the candidate room-temperature ferromagnets we chose to use NiMnSb, which is a member of the broad family of magnetic Heusler compounds. By performing all-electrical ferromagnetic resonance measurements in single-crystal epilayers of NiMnSb we detect room-temperature spin-orbit torques generated by effective fields of the expected symmetry and of a magnitude consistent with our ab initio calculations.
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