Current-Induced Switching of Domains in Magnetic Multilayer Devices

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Science  06 Aug 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5429, pp. 867-870
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5429.867

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Current-induced switching in the orientation of magnetic moments is observed in cobalt/copper/cobalt sandwich structures, for currents flowing perpendicularly through the layers. Magnetic domains in adjacent cobalt layers can be manipulated controllably between stable parallel and antiparallel configurations by applying current pulses of the appropriate sign. The observations are in accord with predictions that a spin-polarized current exerts a torque at the interface between a magnetic and nonmagnetic metal, due to local exchange interactions between conduction electrons and the magnetic moments.

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