Reduction of Operating Current by Harnessing the Field- and Damping-Like Torque Ratios in Nonmagnet–Ferromagnet Heterojunctions

Min Hyeok Lee, Seok Jong Kim, Seok In Yoon, Jeong Kyu Lee, Han Seok Ko, Gyusang Kim, Seokhie Hong, Kyung Jin Lee, Young Keun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With the growing demand for high-speed electronic devices with low energy consumption, spin–orbit torque (SOT) has become a significant focus. SOT can switch the magnetization direction in a material system with broken inversion symmetry, such as a normal metal (NM)/ferromagnet (FM) heterojunction. The SOT consists of two mutually orthogonal vector components along with the injected current direction: the transverse damping-like torque (DLT) and the longitudinal field-like torque (FLT). Numerous studies have mainly centered on the DLT for the SOT switching mechanism. However, DLT and FLT are essential to enhance SOT efficiency because FLT boosts the magnetization precession motion. Herein, heterojunctions consisting of NM 1 (Ta, W, or Pt)/NM 2 (Nb)/FM (CoFeB) are devised to manipulate the FLT-to-DLT ratio (η) through the change in Nb thickness. Furthermore, experimental confirmation exists for reducing threshold current as η increases. The SOT devices with substantial η generate random numbers. The National Institute of Standards and Technology Special Publication 800-90B test verifies randomness and confirms that the SOT devices are beneficial sources for true random number generators (TRNGs). These findings indicate the crucial role of FLT in the SOT switching process and underscore its significance in developing SOT-based TRNG devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2300224
JournalSmall Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Feb

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Small Science published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.


  • damping-like torque
  • field-like torque
  • heterojunctions
  • spin–orbit torque
  • true random number generators

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)


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