Theses Doctoral

Spin-pumping effects in ferromagnetic thin film heterostructures measured through ferromagnetic resonance

Cao, Wei

Ferromagnetic (FM) thin-film heterostructures provide opportunities to investigate GHz magnetic dynamics and emerging magnetoelectric devices based on dynamic phenomena. An intriguing direction for these studies is the control of the flow of pure (chargeless) spin current flow in different magnetic systems. In this thesis, we focus on the excitation of pure spin currents using ferromagnetic resonance (FMR), also known as spin pumping, and their transport characteristics in magnetic heterostructures based on Ni₈₁Fe₁₉ (Permalloy, or Py) under a variety of circumstances.

In Chapter 2, we present measurements of the anisotropy of the spin pumping effect in the Pt/Py/Pt system via variable-frequency, swept-field FMR. We find a very small anisotropy of enhanced Gilbert damping with sign opposite to a recent theory's prediction from the Rashba effect at the FM/Pt interface.

In Chapter 3, we present an experimental and theoretical study of spin dynamics in the antiferromagnetically coupled Py/Ru/Py system. We show that, contrary to the behavior of the uniform mode in a saturated single-layer FM, the symmetric mode in unsaturated synthetic antiferromagnet (SAF) has approximately constant FMR linewidth as a function of frequency. This behavior can be explained mostly semiclassically by our model.

In Chapter 4, we present an investigation of interfacial Gilbert damping due to the spin pumping effect in Py/W heterostructures with enriched α phase or β phase W. The spin mixing conductances (SMC) for W at interfaces with Py are found to be significantly lower than those for similar heavy metals such as Pd and Pt, but comparable to those for Ta, and independent of enrichment in the β phase. The experimental results also indicate that W, no matter of which phase, is a good spin sink in Py/W heterostructures.

In Chapter 5, we describe explorations of the spin pumping effect in antiferromagnetic insulator (AFI)-based heterostructures using variable-temperature, variable-frequency FMR. We find a spin-pumping-induced damping enhancement for Py/Cu/CoO, Py/Cu/CoO/Cu/Pt and Py/Cu/NiO/Cu/Pt. Broad peaks have been observed in FMR linewidth difference as a function of temperature for Py/Cu/NiO, normalized to the linewidth of the reference Py sample. Our results indicate that some effects previously attributed to spin current flow are better described by a defect-related mechanism.

Chapter 6 summarizes the various findings of spin-pumping effects in ferromagnetic thin film heterostructures and possible future work.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Materials Science and Engineering
Thesis Advisors
Bailey, William E.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
August 10, 2022