We report the temperature dependence of the spin-orbit torque (SOT) in the in situ grown Bi2Te3/MnTe heterostructures by molecular beam epitaxy. By appropriately designing the film stack, robust ferromagnetic order with high Curie temperature and strong perpendicular magnetic anisotropy is established in the MnTe layer. Meanwhile, the sharp hetero-interface warrants highly efficient spin current injection from the conductive topological insulator (TI) channel. Accordingly, SOT-driven magnetization switching is observed up to 90 K with the critical current density within the 106 Acm-2 range. More importantly, the temperature-dependent harmonic measurement data can be divided into two categories, namely, the spin Hall effect of the TI bulk states gives rise to a relatively small spin Hall angle in the high-temperature region, whereas the spin-momentum locking nature of the interfacial Dirac fermions leads to the enhancement of the SOT strength once the topological surface states become the dominant conduction channel at deep cryogenic temperatures. Our results offer direct evidence of the underlying mechanism that determines the SOT efficiency and may set up a suitable platform to realize TI-based spin-orbit applications toward room temperature.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)