Europhys. Lett.
Volume 69, Number 6, March 2005
Page(s) 990 - 996
Section Condensed matter: electronic structure, electrical, magnetic, and optical properties
Published online 23 February 2005
Europhys. Lett., 69 (6), pp. 990-996 (2005)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2004-10452-6

Micromagnetic understanding of current-driven domain wall motion in patterned nanowires

A. Thiaville1, Y. Nakatani2, 1, J. Miltat1 and Y. Suzuki3

1  CNRS-Université Paris-sud, Physique des solides - Bât. 510, 91405 Orsay, France
2  University of Electro-communications - Chofu, 182-8585 Tokyo, Japan
3  Osaka University, Department of Materials Engineering Toyonaka, 560-8531 Osaka, Japan

received 27 July 2004; accepted in final form 27 January 2005
published online 23 February 2005

In order to explain recent experiments reporting a motion of magnetic domain walls (DW) in nanowires carrying a current, we propose a modification of the spin transfer torque term in the Landau-Lifchitz-Gilbert equation. We show that it explains, with reasonable parameters, the measured DW velocities as well as the variation of DW propagation field under current. We also introduce coercivity by considering rough wires. This leads to a finite DW propagation field and finite threshold current for DW propagation, hence we conclude that threshold currents are extrinsic. Some possible models that support this new term are discussed.

72.25.Ba - Spin polarized transport in metals.
75.70.Kw - Domain structure (including magnetic bubbles).
72.25.Pn - Current-driven spin pumping.

© EDP Sciences 2005