The usual magnetic materials in spintronics, as Fe or Co, possess a small Spin-Orbit-Coupling (SOC). To circumvent this short-coming, the common practice has been to utilize the large SOC of an external heavy metal, for example a nonmagnetic metal having 5d electrons as Pt, to generate a spin current by SOC in the heavy metal, inject it in the magnetic layer and generate a SOT torque on its magnetization. The authors show that, in some conditions for inversion symmetry breaking, ferrimagnetic alloys such as GdFeCo, in which Gd introduces 5d electron possessing a large SOC, allow them to create very large spin current, 50 larger than with Pt, and self-induced torques on their magnetization without resorting to un external material.

Current-induced spin torques on single GdFeCo magnetic layers, Advanced Materials 2021

Communiqué INP