Electric-field control of magnetic domain-wall velocity in ultrathin cobalt with perpendicular magnetization

Nat Commun. 2012 Jun 6;3:888. doi: 10.1038/ncomms1888.


Controlling the displacement of a magnetic domain wall is potentially useful for information processing in magnetic non-volatile memories and logic devices. A magnetic domain wall can be moved by applying an external magnetic field and/or electric current, and its velocity depends on their magnitudes. Here we show that the applying an electric field can change the velocity of a magnetic domain wall significantly. A field-effect device, consisting of a top-gate electrode, a dielectric insulator layer, and a wire-shaped ferromagnetic Co/Pt thin layer with perpendicular anisotropy, was used to observe it in a finite magnetic field. We found that the application of the electric fields in the range of ± 2-3 MV cm(-1) can change the magnetic domain wall velocity in its creep regime (10(6)-10(3) m s(-1)) by more than an order of magnitude. This significant change is due to electrical modulation of the energy barrier for the magnetic domain wall motion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anisotropy
  • Cobalt / chemistry*
  • Magnetics*


  • Cobalt