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Creators/Authors contains: "Zhang, Steven S.-L."

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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 26, 2022
  2. Pure spin currents can be generated via thermal excitations of magnons. These magnon spin currents serve as carriers of information in insulating materials, and controlling them using electrical means may enable energy efficient information processing. Here, we demonstrate electric field control of magnon spin currents in the antiferromagnetic insulator Cr 2 O 3 . We show that the thermally driven magnon spin currents reveal a spin-flop transition in thin-film Cr 2 O 3 . Crucially, this spin-flop can be turned on or off by applying an electric field across the thickness of the film. Using this tunability, we demonstrate electric field–induced switching of the polarization of magnon spin currents by varying only a gate voltage while at a fixed magnetic field. We propose a model considering an electric field–dependent spin-flop transition, arising from a change in sublattice magnetizations via a magnetoelectric coupling. These results provide a different approach toward controlling magnon spin current in antiferromagnets.
  3. Topological surface states (TSSs) in a topological insulator are expected to be able to produce a spin-orbit torque that can switch a neighboring ferromagnet. This effect may be absent if the ferromagnet is conductive because it can completely suppress the TSSs, but it should be present if the ferromagnet is insulating. This study reports TSS-induced switching in a bilayer consisting of a topological insulator Bi 2 Se 3 and an insulating ferromagnet BaFe 12 O 19 . A charge current in Bi 2 Se 3 can switch the magnetization in BaFe 12 O 19 up and down. When the magnetization is switched by a field, a current in Bi 2 Se 3 can reduce the switching field by ~4000 Oe. The switching efficiency at 3 K is 300 times higher than at room temperature; it is ~30 times higher than in Pt/BaFe 12 O 19 . These strong effects originate from the presence of more pronounced TSSs at low temperatures due to enhanced surface conductivity and reduced bulk conductivity.