The interfacial Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction (DMI) in multilayers of heavy metal and ferromagnetic metals enables the stabilization of novel chiral spin structures such as skyrmions. Magnetic insulators, on the other hand, can exhibit enhanced dynamics and properties such as lower magnetic damping and therefore it is of interest to combine the properties enabled by interfacial DMI with insulating systems. Here, we demonstrate the presence of interfacial DMI in heterostructures that include insulating magnetic layers. We use perpendicularly magnetized insulating thulium iron garnet (TmIG) films capped by the heavy metal platinum, grown on gadolinium gallium garnet (GGG) substrates, and find a surprisingly strong interfacial DMI that, combined with spin-orbit torque, results in efficient switching. The interfacial origin is confirmed through thickness-dependence measurements of the DMI, revealing the characteristic 1/thickness dependence. We combine chiral spin structures and spin-orbit torques for efficient switching and identify skyrmions that allow us to establish the GGG/TmIG interface as the possible origin of the DMI.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes