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Tuning anomalous Hall effect and spin polarized current in magnetic ultrathin films

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In this dissertation I studied the anomalous Hall effect in MgO/Permalloy/Nonmagnetic Metal(NM) based structure, spin polarized current in YIG/Pt based thin films and the origin of the perpendicular magnetic anisotropy(PMA)

In this dissertation I studied the anomalous Hall effect in MgO/Permalloy/Nonmagnetic Metal(NM) based structure, spin polarized current in YIG/Pt based thin films and the origin of the perpendicular magnetic anisotropy(PMA) in the Ru/Co/Ru based structures.

The anomalous Hall effect is the observation of a nonzero voltage difference across a magnetic material transverse to the current that flows through the material and the external magnetic field. Unlike the ordinary Hall effect which is observed in nonmagnetic metals, the anomalous Hall effect is only observed in magnetic materials and is orders of magnitude larger than the ordinary Hall effect. Unlike quantum anomalous Hall effect which only works in low temperature and extremely large magnetic field, anomalous Hall effect can be measured at room temperature under a relatively small magnetic field. This allows the anomalous Hall effect to have great potential applications in spintronics and be a good characterization tool for ferromagnetic materials especially materials that have perpendicular magnetic anisotropy(PMA).

In my research, it is observed that a polarity change of the Hall resistance in the MgO/Permalloy/NM structure can be obtained when certain nonmagnetic metal is used as the capping layer while no polarity change is observed when some other metal is used as the capping layer. This allows us to tune the polarity of the anomalous Hall effect by changing the thickness of a component of the structure. My conclusion is that an intrinsic mechanism from Berry curvature plays an important role in the sign of anomalous Hall resistivity in the MgO/Py/HM structures. Surface and interfacial scattering also make substantial contribution to the measured Hall resistivity.

Spin polarization(P) is one of the key concepts in spintronics and is defined as the difference in the spin up and spin down electron population near the Fermi level of a conductor. It has great applications in the spintronics field such as the creation of spin transfer torques, magnetic tunnel junction(MTJ), spintronic logic devices.

In my research, spin polarization is measured on platinum layers grown on a YIG layer. Platinum is a nonmagnetic metal with strong spin orbit coupling which intrinsically has zero spin polarization. Nontrivial spin polarization measured by ARS is observed in the Pt layer when it is grown on YIG ferromagnetic insulator. This result is contrary to the zero spin polarization in the Pt layer when it is grown directly on SiO2 substrate. Magnetic proximity effect and spin current pumping from YIG into Pt is proposed as the reason of the nontrivial spin polarization induced in Pt. An even higher spin polarization in the Pt layer is observed when an ultrathin NiO layer or Cu layer is inserted between Pt and YIG which blocks the proximity effect. The spin polarization in the NiO inserted sample shows temperature dependence. This demonstrates that the spin current transmission is further enhanced in ultrathin NiO layers through magnon and spin fluctuations.

Perpendicular Magnetic Anisotropy(PMA) has important applications in spintronics and magnetic storage. In the last chapter, I study the origin of PMA in one of the structures that shows PMA: Ru/Co/Ru. By measuring the ARS curve while changing the magnetic field orientation, the origin of the PMA in this structure is determined to be the strain induced by lattice mismatch.

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  • 2018