Voltage‐Controlled Deblocking of Magnetization Reversal in Thin Films by Tunable Domain Wall Interactions and Pinning Sites

Abstract

High energy efficiency of magnetic devices is crucial for applications such as data storage, computation, and actuation. Redox‐based (magneto‐ionic) voltage control of magnetism is a promising room‐temperature pathway to improve energy efficiency. However, for ferromagnetic metals, the magneto‐ionic effects studied so far require ultrathin films with tunable perpendicular magnetic anisotropy or nanoporous structures for appreciable effects. This paper reports a fully reversible, low voltage‐induced collapse of coercivity and remanence by redox reactions in iron oxide/iron films with uniaxial in‐plane anisotropy. In the initial iron oxide/iron films, Néel wall interactions stabilize a blocked state with high coercivity. During the voltage‐triggered reduction of the iron oxide layer, in situ Kerr microscopy reveals inverse changes of coercivity and anisotropy, and a coarsening of the magnetic microstructure. These results confirm a magneto‐ionic deblocking mechanism, which relies on changes of the Néel wall interactions, and of the microstructural domain‐wall‐pinning sites. With this approach, voltage‐controlled 180° magnetization switching with high energy‐efficiency is achieved. It opens up possibilities for developing magnetic devices programmable by ultralow power and for the reversible tuning of defect‐controlled materials in general.

Description
Keywords
magnetism, ferromagnetic metals, iron films
Citation
Citation
Zehner, J., Soldatov, I., Schneider, S., Heller, R., Khojasteh, N. B., Schiemenez, S., et al. (2020). Voltage‐Controlled Deblocking of Magnetization Reversal in Thin Films by Tunable Domain Wall Interactions and Pinning Sites (Version publishedVersion, Vol. 6). Version publishedVersion, Vol. 6. Hoboken, NJ : Wiley. https://doi.org//10.1002/aelm.202000406