Spin-orbit-driven ferromagnetic resonance

Nat Nanotechnol. 2011 May 22;6(7):413-7. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2011.68.


Ferromagnetic resonance is the most widely used technique for characterizing ferromagnetic materials. However, its use is generally restricted to wafer-scale samples or specific micro-magnetic devices, such as spin valves, which have a spatially varying magnetization profile and where ferromagnetic resonance can be induced by an alternating current owing to angular momentum transfer. Here we introduce a form of ferromagnetic resonance in which an electric current oscillating at microwave frequencies is used to create an effective magnetic field in the magnetic material being probed, which makes it possible to characterize individual nanoscale samples with uniform magnetization profiles. The technique takes advantage of the microscopic non-collinearity of individual electron spins arising from spin-orbit coupling and bulk or structural inversion asymmetry in the band structure of the sample. We characterize lithographically patterned (Ga,Mn)As and (Ga,Mn)(As,P) nanoscale bars, including broadband measurements of resonant damping as a function of frequency, and measurements of anisotropy as a function of bar width and strain. In addition, vector magnetometry on the driving fields reveals contributions with the symmetry of both the Dresselhaus and Rashba spin-orbit interactions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't