Dynamics of spin torque switching in all-perpendicular spin valve nanopillars

Abstract : We present a systematic experimental study of the spin-torque-induced magnetic switching statistics at room temperature, using all-perpendicularly magnetized spin-valves as a model system. Three physical regimes are distinguished: a short-time ballistic limit below a few nanoseconds, where spin-torque dominates the reversal dynamics from a thermal distribution of initial conditions; a long time limit, where the magnetization reversal probability is determined by spin-torque-amplified thermal activation; and a cross-over regime, where the spin-torque and thermal agitation both contribute. For a basic quantitative understanding of the physical processes involved, an analytical macrospin model is presented which contains both spin-torque dynamics and finite temperature effects. The latter was treated rigorously using a Fokker-Plank formalism, and solved numerically for specific sets of parameters relevant to the experiments to determine the switching probability behavior in the short time and cross over regimes. This analysis shows that thermal fluctuations during magnetization reversal greatly affect the switching probability over all the time scales studied, even in the short time limit. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved,
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H. Liu, D. Bedau, J. Z. Sun, Stéphane Mangin, E. E. Fullerton, et al.. Dynamics of spin torque switching in all-perpendicular spin valve nanopillars. Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, Elsevier, 2014, 358, pp.233-258. ⟨10.1016/j.jmmm.2014.01.061⟩. ⟨hal-01282625⟩

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