Electric-field control of spin-orbit torque in a magnetically doped topological insulator

Yabin Fan, Xufeng Kou, Pramey Upadhyaya, Qiming Shao, Lei Pan, Murong Lang, Xiaoyu Che, Jianshi Tang, Mohammad Montazeri, Koichi Murata, Li Te Chang, Mustafa Akyol, Guoqiang Yu, Tianxiao Nie, Kin L. Wong, Jun Liu, Yong Wang, Yaroslav Tserkovnyak, Kang L. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

176 Citations (Scopus)


Electric-field manipulation of magnetic order has proved of both fundamental and technological importance in spintronic devices. So far, electric-field control of ferromagnetism, magnetization and magnetic anisotropy has been explored in various magnetic materials, but the efficient electric-field control of spin-orbit torque (SOT) still remains elusive. Here, we report the effective electric-field control of a giant SOT in a Cr-doped topological insulator (TI) thin film using a top-gate field-effect transistor structure. The SOT strength can be modulated by a factor of four within the accessible gate voltage range, and it shows strong correlation with the spin-polarized surface current in the film. Furthermore, we demonstrate the magnetization switching by scanning gate voltage with constant current and in-plane magnetic field applied in the film. The effective electric-field control of SOT and the giant spin-torque efficiency in Cr-doped TI may lead to the development of energy-efficient gate-controlled spin-torque devices compatible with modern field-effect semiconductor technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-359
Number of pages8
JournalNature Nanotechnology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Apr 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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