Enhanced Spin-Orbit Torque via Modulation of Spin Current Absorption

Phys Rev Lett. 2016 Nov 18;117(21):217206. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.217206. Epub 2016 Nov 18.


The magnitude of spin-orbit torque (SOT), exerted to a ferromagnet (FM) from an adjacent heavy metal (HM), strongly depends on the amount of spin current absorbed in the FM. We exploit the large spin absorption at the Ru interface to manipulate the SOTs in HM/FM/Ru multilayers. While the FM thickness is smaller than its spin dephasing length of 1.2 nm, the top Ru layer largely boosts the absorption of spin currents into the FM layer and substantially enhances the strength of SOT acting on the FM. Spin-pumping experiments induced by ferromagnetic resonance support our conclusions that the observed increase in the SOT efficiency can be attributed to an enhancement of the spin-current absorption. A theoretical model that considers both reflected and transmitted mixing conductances at the two interfaces of FM is developed to explain the results.