Spin–orbit torques in normal metal/Nb/ferromagnet heterostructures

Min Hyeok Lee, Gyungchoon Go, Yong Jin Kim, In Ho Cha, Gyu Won Kim, Taehyun Kim, Kyung Jin Lee, Young Keun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Quantifying the spin–orbit torque (SOT) efficiency with changing the layer thickness is crucial for understanding the physical background of SOT. This study investigates the Nb-thickness-dependent SOT efficiency of two types of layered heterostructures: Ta/Nb/CoFeB and Pt/Nb/CoFeB. We find that the Nb thickness dependence of the SOT efficiency in the two samples is quite different. In the Pt/Nb series, the SOT sign changes according to the thickness variation because Pt and Nb have different spin–orbit coupling signs. We observe the resulting reversal in switching polarity through current-induced SOT switching experiments. However, due to the same spin–orbit coupling signs of Ta and Nb, no such polarity reversal was observed in Ta/Nb series. Further, we extract the spin diffusion length of Nb in each heterostructure. These results provide a systematic understanding of the material- and thickness-dependent SOT characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21081
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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