Dual Control of Giant Field-like Spin Torque in Spin Filter Tunnel Junctions

We predict a giant field-like spin torque, T⊥, in spin-filter (SF) barrier tunnel junctions in sharp contrast to existing junctions based on nonmagnetic passive barriers. We demonstrate that T⊥ has linear bias behavior, is independent of the SF thickness, and has odd parity with respect to the SF’s exchange splitting. Thus, it can be selectively controlled via external bias or external magnetic field which gives rise to sign reversal of T⊥ via magnetic field switching. The underlying mechanism is the interlayer exchange coupling between the noncollinear magnetizations of the SF and free ferromagnetic electrode via the nonmagnetic insulating (I) spacer giving rise to giant spin-dependent reflection at the SF/I interface. These findings suggest that the proposed field-like-spin-torque MRAM may provide promising dual functionalities for both ‘reading’ and ‘writing’ processes which requirelower critical current densities and faster writing and reading speeds.

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[2] Y. –H. Tang et al., Phys. Rev. B 96, 064429 (2017).