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Durham University

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Publication details for Professor Del Atkinson

Brandão, J., Azzawi, S., Hindmarch, A.T. & Atkinson, D. (2017). Understanding the role of damping and Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction on dynamic domain wall behaviour in platinum-ferromagnet nanowires. Scientific Reports 7(1): 4569.

Author(s) from Durham


Heavy metal layers, exemplified by Pt, are known to play a significant role in the magnetization behaviour of thin-film ferromagnets by three distinct mechanisms that can each contribute to the reversal process. These include modifying the local magnetization state via an interfacial Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction (IDMI), enhancement of the damping, via d-d hybridisation and spin-pumping across the interface, and the mediation of the magnetization switching, with the flow of current through a system, via the spin-Hall effect. Here we show for a system with weak interfacial DMI (NiFe/Pt) that the measurement of magnetic field-driven magnetization reversal, mediated by domain wall (DW) motion, is dominated by the enhanced intrinsic damping contribution as a function of the Pt capping layer thickness. But, we also show micromagnetically that the IDMI and damping also combine to modify the domain wall velocity behaviour when the damping is larger. It is also noted that Walker breakdown occurs at lower fields and peak DW velocity decreases in the presence of IDMI. These results highlight the significance of the relative contributions of the damping and the IDMI from the heavy metal layer on the magnetization reversal and provide a route to controlling the DW behaviour in nanoscale device structures.