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Concepts in Spin Electronics$
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Sadamichi Maekawa

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198568216

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198568216.001.0001

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Spin-transfer torques and nanomagnets

Spin-transfer torques and nanomagnets

(p.195) 5 Spin-transfer torques and nanomagnets
Concepts in Spin Electronics

Daniel C. Ralph

Robert A. Buhrman

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents simple ideas for understanding how spin-polarized currents can be used to exert spin-transfer torques in magnetic devices. The chapter reviews recent progress for measuring the magnetic dynamics that result from spin-transfer torques in 100-nm-scale metallic spin valves and magnetic tunnel junctions. The chapter also discusses how the transport of spin and charge in magnetic devices changes when the structures are made even smaller, extending from magnetic particles a micron in diameter, to a few nanometers, and down to a single molecule. As the size of the magnet shrinks, effects such as Coulomb blockade and energy-level quantization can become dominant, and it becomes necessary to move beyond simple independent-electron models to consider the true correlated many-electron quantum states at the root of ferromagnetism.

Keywords:   magnetic precession, spin valve, magnetic tunnel junction, magnetic random access memory, Coulomb blockade, quantized states, nanoparticles, Kondo effect, single-molecule transistor

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