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Title: Impact of strain on the SOT-driven dynamics of thin film Mn3Sn

Mn 3 Sn, a metallic antiferromagnet with an anti-chiral 120° spin structure, generates intriguing magneto-transport signatures such as a large anomalous Hall effect, spin-polarized current with novel symmetries, anomalous Nernst effect, and magneto-optic Kerr effect. When grown epitaxially as MgO(110)[001]∥Mn3Sn(01¯1¯0)[0001], Mn3Sn experiences a uniaxial tensile strain, which changes the bulk sixfold anisotropy to a twofold perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA). Here, we investigate the field-assisted spin–orbit-torque (SOT)-driven dynamics in single-domain Mn3Sn with PMA. We find that for non-zero external magnetic fields, the magnetic octupole moment of Mn3Sn can be switched between the two stable states if the input current is between two field-dependent critical currents. Below the lower critical current, the magnetic octupole moment exhibits a stationary state in the vicinity of the initial stable state. On the other hand, above the higher critical current, the magnetic octupole moment shows oscillatory dynamics which could, in principle, be tuned from the 100s of megahertz to the terahertz range. We obtain approximate analytic expressions of the two critical currents that agree very well with the numerical simulations for experimentally relevant magnetic fields. We also obtain a unified functional form of the switching time vs the input current for different magnetic fields. Finally, we show that for lower values of Gilbert damping (α≲2×10−3), the critical currents and the final steady states depend significantly on α. The numerical and analytic results presented in our work can be used by both theorists and experimentalists to understand the SOT-driven order dynamics in PMA Mn3Sn and design future experiments and devices.

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Journal of Applied Physics
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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