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Domain wall damping in ultrathin nanostripes with Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction
Structural inversion symmetry breaking in low-dimensional magnetic systems determines their electronic and magnetic properties at interfaces [1,2]. Asymmetrically sandwiched magnetic films can provide strong perpendicular magnetic anisotropy and Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interactions (DMI), which is necessary for prospective memory and logic devices based on chiral non-collinear magnetic textures, e.g. skyrmions [3,4], skyrmion bubbles and chiral domain walls (DWs) . The device performance is determined by the static and dynamic micromagnetic parameters [6,7]. In particular, the speed of a DW-based racetrack memory is defined by both the strength of the external driving, e.g. magnetic field or spin-polarized current, and internal magnetic parameters, e.g. the DMI constant and damping parameter [6,7]. The necessity of having a strong DMI in asymmetrically sandwiched magnetic structures requires the utilization of ultrathin (in the range of 1 nm) magnetic films, which implies the polycrystalinity and compromized structural quality of the layer stack. Structural imperfections in addition to the spin-pumping mechanism [8,9], that arises due to the proximity of a ferromagnetic material with a heavy-metal, lead to a substantial enhancement of the magnetic damping parameter of ultrathin films compared to bulk. Accessing this parameter typically requires dynamic experiments on the motion of DWs in confined geometries, which are usually done in the creep regime due to the pronounced pinning.
Here, we demonstrate both experimentally and theoretically the presence of tilted DWs in statics in perpendicularly magnetized asymmetric //CrOx/Co/Pt layer stacks with surface-induced DMI, Fig. 1. We show that in such systems there are two possible theoretical mechanism for the appearance of titled DWs: (I) A unidirectional tilt could appear in equilibrium as a result of the competition between the DMI and additional in-plane easy-axis anisotropy, which breaks the symmetry of the magnetic texture and introduce tilts . (II) A static DW tilt could appear due to the spatial variation of magnetic parameters, which introduce pinning centers for DWs. A moving DW can be trapped in a tilted state after the external driving field is off. Based on these theoretical approaches, we perform a statistical analysis of the DW tilt angles obtained in staticts after the external magnetic field used for the sample demagnetization was off. We found that the second approach corresponds better to the experimental observations and allows to determine self-consistently the range of DW damping parameters and DMI constants for the particular layer stack. Using two reference fields, which provide two characteristic tilt angles, allow us to retrieve the range of DMI strength mJ/m2 and DW damping parameters . The upper limit for the DMI constant agrees with an independent transport-based measurement giving mJ/m2, which further refines our estimate of the damping parameter . This value lies in a typical DW damping range for the Co-based asymmetrical layer stacks, that are obtained from dynamic experiments [11,12]. Thus, the combination of the proposed method with standard metrological techniques opens up opportunities for the quantification of both static and dynamic micromagnetic parameters based on static measurements of the DW morphology.
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Keywords: Nanomagnetism; Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction
INTERMAG 2021, 26.-30.04.2021, Online, France