Hf thickness dependence of spin-orbit torques in Hf/CoFeB/MgO heterostructures


We have studied the spin-orbit torques in perpendicularly magnetized Hf/CoFeB/MgO system, by systematically varying the thickness of Hf underlayer. We have observed a sign change of effective fields between Hf thicknesses of 1.75 and 2 nm, indicating that competing mechanisms, such as the Rashba and spin Hall effects, contribute to spin-orbit torques in our system. For larger Hf thicknesses (>2 nm), both the components of spin-orbit torques arise predominantly from the bulk spin Hall effect. We have also confirmed these results using spin-orbit torque induced magnetization switching measurements. Our results could be helpful in designing Hf based SOT devices.

Publication Title

Applied Physics Letters