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Domain wall motion in nanopillar spin-valves with perpendicular anisotropy driven by spin-transfer torques

Abstract : Using transport measurements and micromagnetic simulations we have investigated the domain wall motion driven by spin-transfer torques in all-perpendicular hexagonal nanopillar spin-valves. In particular, we probe domain walls nucleated in the free layer of the spin-valves, which are then pinned in the devices. We have determined both the field-current state diagrams for the domain-wall state and the thermally activated dynamics of the nucleation and depinning processes. We show that the nucleation process is well-described by a modified Néel-Brown model taking into account the spin-transfer torque, whereas the depinning process is independent of the current. This is confirmed by an analytical calculation which shows that spin-torques have no effect on the Arrhenius escape rate associated with thermally activated domain wall depinning in this geometry. Furthermore, micromagnetic simulations indicate that spin-transfer only weakly affects the domain wall motion, but instead modifies the inner domain wall structure.
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J. Cucchiara, Sylvain Le Gall, E. E. Fullerton, J.-V. Kim, D. Ravelosona, et al.. Domain wall motion in nanopillar spin-valves with perpendicular anisotropy driven by spin-transfer torques. Physical Review B: Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, American Physical Society, 2012, Physical Review B, 86 (21), pp.214429. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevB.86.214429⟩. ⟨hal-01579277⟩

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