Current-induced torques in magnetic materials

Nat Mater. 2012 Apr 23;11(5):372-81. doi: 10.1038/nmat3311.


The magnetization of a magnetic material can be reversed by using electric currents that transport spin angular momentum. In the reciprocal process a changing magnetization orientation produces currents that transport spin angular momentum. Understanding how these processes occur reveals the intricate connection between magnetization and spin transport, and can transform technologies that generate, store or process information via the magnetization direction. Here we explain how currents can generate torques that affect the magnetic orientation and the reciprocal effect in a wide variety of magnetic materials and structures. We also discuss recent state-of-the-art demonstrations of current-induced torque devices that show great promise for enhancing the functionality of semiconductor devices.