Spin transfer torques allow the electrical manipulation of magnetization at room temperature, which is desirable in spintronic devices such as spin transfer torque memories. When combined with spin-orbit coupling, they give rise to spin-orbit torques, which are a more powerful tool for controlling magnetization and can enrich device functionalities. The engineering of spin-orbit torques, based mostly on the spin Hall effect, is being intensely pursued. Here, we report that the oxidation of spin-orbit-torque devices triggers a new mechanism of spin-orbit torque, which is about two times stronger than that based on the spin Hall effect. We thus introduce a way to engineer spin-orbit torques via oxygen manipulation. Combined with electrical gating of the oxygen level, our findings may also pave the way towards reconfigurable logic devices.
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ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Biomedical Engineering
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering