Room-temperature high spin–orbit torque due to quantum confinement in sputtered BixSe(1–x) films

Mahendra Dc, Roberto Grassi, Jun-yang Chen, Mahdi Jamali, Danielle Reifsnyder Hickey, Delin Zhang, Zhengyang Zhao, Hongshi Li, P. Quarterman, Yang Lv, Mo Li, Aurelien Manchon, K. Andre Mkhoyan, Tony Low, Jian-ping Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

315 Scopus citations


The spin–orbit torque (SOT) that arises from materials with large spin–orbit coupling promises a path for ultralow power and fast magnetic-based storage and computational devices. We investigated the SOT from magnetron-sputtered Bi xSe (1–x) thin films in Bi xSe (1–x)/Co 20Fe 60B 20 heterostructures by using d.c. planar Hall and spin-torque ferromagnetic resonance (ST-FMR) methods. Remarkably, the spin torque efficiency (θ S) was determined to be as large as 18.62 ± 0.13 and 8.67 ± 1.08 using the d.c. planar Hall and ST-FMR methods, respectively. Moreover, switching of the perpendicular CoFeB multilayers using the SOT from the Bi xSe (1–x) was observed at room temperature with a low critical magnetization switching current density of 4.3 × 10 5 A cm –2. Quantum transport simulations using a realistic sp 3 tight-binding model suggests that the high SOT in sputtered Bi xSe (1–x) is due to the quantum confinement effect with a charge-to-spin conversion efficiency that enhances with reduced size and dimensionality. The demonstrated θ S, ease of growth of the films on a silicon substrate and successful growth and switching of perpendicular CoFeB multilayers on Bi xSe (1–x) films provide an avenue for the use of Bi xSe (1–x) as a spin density generator in SOT-based memory and logic devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)800-807
Number of pages8
JournalNature Materials
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jul 30 2018

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