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Title: Ultrafast magnetization reversal by picosecond electrical pulses

The field of spintronics involves the study of both spin and charge transport in solid-state devices. Ultrafast magnetism involves the use of femtosecond laser pulses to manipulate magnetic order on subpicosecond time scales. Here, we unite these phenomena by using picosecond charge current pulses to rapidly excite conduction electrons in magnetic metals. We observe deterministic, repeatable ultrafast reversal of the magnetization of a GdFeCo thin film with a single sub–10-ps electrical pulse. The magnetization reverses in ~10 ps, which is more than one order of magnitude faster than any other electrically controlled magnetic switching, and demonstrates a fundamentally new electrical switching mechanism that does not require spin-polarized currents or spin-transfer/orbit torques. The energy density required for switching is low, projecting to only 4 fJ needed to switch a (20 nm) 3 cell. This discovery introduces a new field of research into ultrafast charge current–driven spintronic phenomena and devices.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [3] ; ORCiD logo [3]
  1. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering
  2. Univ. of California, Riverside, CA (United States). Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering
  3. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences; Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  4. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-05CH11231
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Science Advances
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 3; Journal Issue: 11; Journal ID: ISSN 2375-2548
Publisher:
AAAS
Research Org:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE
OSTI Identifier:
1432218