We show that the spin-orbit torque induced magnetization switching in nanomagnets presenting Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya (DMI) interaction is governed by a chiral domain nucleation at the edges. The nucleation is induced by the DMI and the applied in-plane magnetic field followed by domain-wall propagation. Our micromagnetic simulations show that the dc switching current can be defined as the edge nucleation current, which decreases strongly with increasing amplitude of the DMI. This description allows us to build a simple analytical model to quantitatively predict the switching current. We find that domain nucleation occurs down to a lateral size of 25nm, defined by the length scale of the DMI, beyond which the reversal mechanism approaches a macrospin behavior. The switching is deterministic and bipolar.
Mikuszeit, N., Boulle, O., Miron, I. M., Garello, K., Gambardella, P., Gaudin, G., & Buda-Prejbeanu, L. D. (2015). Spin-orbit torque driven chiral magnetization reversal in ultrathin nanostructures. Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, 92(14). https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.92.144424