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The dynamics of chiral domain walls in multilayer films with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy

Abstract : The aim of this thesis has been to study domain wall dynamics in magnetic thin films with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy embedded in a non centrosymmetric stack. In this kind of system the competition between the symmetric Heisenberg exchange and an antisymmetric exchange term, called the interfacial Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction (DMI), favours non collinear magnetic textures with a fixed chirality, like chiral Néel domain walls and skyrmions. In this work we have been interested in the field and current-driven dynamics of chiral Néel walls in trilayer stacks, typically consisting of a thin Co film deposited on Pt and capped with an oxide.We have shown that the statics and dynamics of a domain wall (DW) is strongly affected by the DMI. The DMI favours Néel internal structure (rather than the Bloch structure usually found in symmetric systems) with a fixed chirality. By comparing DWs in Pt/Co/Pt (no DMI) and Pt/Co/AlOx (strong DMI), we have shown that in the presence of DMI, DWs can be moved more efficiently by a magnetic field. The stabilization of the internal DW structure by the DMI allows the precessional regime to be pushed to large magnetic fields and large velocities to be reached.Opposite to what is predicted by 1D models we show that in the presence of DMI, the DW velocity saturates after the Walker field, and that the saturation velocity is proportional to the ratio of the DMI strength and the saturation magnetization (D/Ms). The enhancement of the saturation velocity in systems with reduced Ms is shown by comparing DW dynamics in Pt/Co/GdOx and Pt/Co/Gd stacks. This also means that, knowing Ms, measuring the DW saturation velocity provides an original method to quantify the interfacial Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction, as we show in this work.This method has been used to measure the DMI interaction in Pt/Co/AlOx trilayers in which the top Co interface presents a varying degree of oxidation. We show that besides the strong DMI at the Pt/Co interface, the Co/oxide interface also provides a DMI contribution of the same sign, whose strength depends on the degree of oxidation of the Co/AlOx interface. We also observe that this DMI scales with the perpendicular magnetic anisotropy, which suggest a common origin for the two effects. Finally we have shown preliminary results of field- and current-driven dynamics of DWs in a ferrimagnetic system (GdCo). While close to the compensation composition domain walls in Pt/GdCo/Ta trilayers can be moved to high velocities only by very high magnetic fields, the current driven dynamics is very efficient and depinning currents low. This effect is attributed to the 1/ Ms dependence of the spin-orbit torque acting on the DW magnetization.
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  • HAL Id : tel-01891949, version 1

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Dayane de Souza Chaves. The dynamics of chiral domain walls in multilayer films with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy. Condensed Matter [cond-mat]. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018GREAY019⟩. ⟨tel-01891949⟩

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