Magnetization reversal is a well-studied problem with obvious applicability in computer hard drives. One can accomplish a magnetization reversal in at least one of two ways: application of a magnetic field or through a spin current. The latter is more amenable to a fully quantum-mechanical analysis. We formulate and solve the problem whereby a spin current interacts with a ferromagnetic Heisenberg spin chain, to eventually reverse the magnetization of the chain. Spin flips are accomplished through both elastic and inelastic scattering. A consequence of the inelastic-scattering channel, when it is no longer energetically possible, is the occurrence of a nonequilibrium bound state, which is an emergent property of the coupled local plus itinerant spin system. For certain definite parameter values the itinerant spin lingers near the local spins for some time, before eventually leaking out as an outwardly diffusing state. This phenomenon results in spin-flip dynamics and filtering properties for this type of system.


Materials Science and Engineering

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Article - Journal

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Final Version

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© 2009 American Physical Society (APS), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Sep 2009