Review – Current-induced spin-orbit torques in ferromagnetic and antiferromagnetic systems

A. Manchon, J. Železný, I. M. Miron, T. Jungwirth, J. Sinova, A. Thiaville, K. Garello, and P. Gambardella. Rev. Mod. Phys. 91, 035004 (2019)

Spin-orbit coupling in inversion-asymmetric magnetic crystals and structures has emerged as a powerful tool to generate complex magnetic textures, interconvert charge and spin under applied current, and control magnetization dynamics. Current-induced spin-orbit torques mediate the transfer of angular momentum from the lattice to the spin system, leading to sustained magnetic oscillations or switching of ferromagnetic as well as antiferromagnetic structures. The manipulation of magnetic order, domain walls, and skyrmions by spin-orbit torques provides evidence of the microscopic interactions between charge and spin in a variety of materials and opens novel strategies to design spintronic devices with potentially high impact in data storage, nonvolatile logic, and magnonic applications. This paper reviews recent progress in the field of spin orbitronics, focusing on theoretical models, material properties, and experimental results obtained on bulk noncentrosymmetric conductors and multilayer heterostructures, including metals, semiconductors, and topological insulator systems. Relevant aspects for improving the understanding and optimizing the efficiency of nonequilibrium spin-orbit phenomena in future nanoscale devices are also discussed.

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