The large spin-orbit coupling in topological insulators results in helical spin-textured Dirac surface states that are attractive for topological spintronics. These states generate an efficient spin-orbit torque on proximal magnetic moments. However, memory or logic spin devices based upon such switching require a non-optimal three-terminal geometry, with two terminals for the writing current and one for reading the state of the device. An alternative two-terminal device geometry is now possible by exploiting the recent discovery of the unidirectional spin Hall magnetoresistance in heavy metal/ferromagnet bilayers and unidirectional magnetoresistance in magnetic topological insulators. Here, we report the observation of such unidirectional magnetoresistance in a technologically relevant device geometry that combines a topological insulator with a conventional ferromagnetic metal. Our devices show a figure of merit (magnetoresistance per current density per total resistance) that is more than twice as large as the highest reported values in all-metal Ta/Co bilayers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)