Magnetization switching without charge or spin currents

Stöhr, J.; Siegmann, H. C.; Kashuba, A.; Gamble, S. J.
February 2009
Applied Physics Letters;2/16/2009, Vol. 94 Issue 7, pN.PAG
Academic Journal
We propose schemes of reversing the magnetization of a ferromagnet by electric fields alone, without charge or spin currents or external magnetic fields. The switching is triggered by picosecond manipulation of the atomic positions or subpicosecond distortion of the valence charge distribution, which through spin-orbit coupling modifies the magnetic anisotropy. We discuss how such time-even anisotropies can be used to switch the time-odd magnetization for in-plane and out-of-plane magnetization directions. In all cases the switching process is completely determined by the appropriately chosen orientation, magnitude, and temporal length of the electric field created by a voltage or photon pulse.


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