Spin-orbit torque-assisted switching in magnetic insulator thin films with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy

Peng Li, Tao Liu, Houchen Chang, Alan Kalitsov, Wei Zhang, Gyorgy Csaba, Wei Li, Daniel Richardson, August DeMann, Gaurab Rimal, Himadri Dey, J. S. Jiang, Wolfgang Porod, Stuart B. Field, Jinke Tang, Mario C. Marconi, Axel Hoffmann, Oleg Mryasov, Mingzhong Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As an in-plane charge current flows in a heavy metal film with spin-orbit coupling, it produces a torque on and thereby switches the magnetization in a neighbouring ferromagnetic metal film. Such spin-orbit torque (SOT)-induced switching has been studied extensively in recent years and has shown higher efficiency than switching using conventional spin-transfer torque. Here we report the SOT-assisted switching in heavy metal/magnetic insulator systems. The experiments used a Pt/BaFe12O19 bilayer where the BaFe12O19 layer exhibits perpendicular magnetic anisotropy. As a charge current is passed through the Pt film, it produces a SOT that can control the up and down states of the remnant magnetization in the BaFe12O19 film when the film is magnetized by an in-plane magnetic field. It can reduce or increase the switching field of the BaFe12O19 film by as much as about 500 Oe when the film is switched with an out-of-plane field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number12688
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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