Magneto-mechanical interplay in spin-polarized point contacts

Maria Stamenova, Sudhakar Sahoo, Cristian G. Sanchez, Tchavdar N. Todorov and S. Sanvito

We investigate the interplay between magnetic and structural dynamics in ferromagnetic atomic point contacts. In particular, we look at the effect of the atomic relaxation on the energy barrier for magnetic domain wall migration and, reversely, at the effect of the magnetic state on the mechanical forces and structural relaxation. We observe changes of the barrier height due to the atomic relaxation up to 200\%, suggesting a very strong coupling between the structural and the magnetic degrees of freedom. The reverse interplay is weak, i.e.\! the magnetic state has little effect on the structural relaxation at equilibrium or under non-equilibrium, current-carrying conditions.