Electrical switching of an antiferromagnet

Wadley, P. and Howells, Bryn and Železný, J. and Andrews, C. and Hills, V. and Campion, R.P. and Novák, V. and Olejnik, K. and Maccherozzi, F. and Dhesi, S.S. and Martin, S. and Wagner, T. and Wunderlich, J. and Freimuth, F. and Mokrousov, Y. and Kunes, J. and Chauhan, Jasbinder and Grzybowski, M.J. and Rushforth, A.W. and Edmonds, K.W. and Gallagher, B.L. and Jungwirth, T. (2016) Electrical switching of an antiferromagnet. Science, 351 (6273). pp. 587-590. ISSN 1095-9203

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Abstract

Antiferromagnets are hard to control by external magnetic fields because of the alternating directions of magnetic moments on individual atoms and the resulting zero net magnetization. However, relativistic quantum mechanics allows for generating current-induced internal fields whose sign alternates with the periodicity of the antiferromagnetic lattice. Using these fields, which couple strongly to the antiferromagnetic order, we demonstrate room-temperature electrical switching between stable configurations in antiferromagnetic CuMnAs thin-film devices by applied current with magnitudes of order 106 ampere per square centimeter. Electrical writing is combined in our solid-state memory with electrical readout and the stored magnetic state is insensitive to and produces no external magnetic field perturbations, which illustrates the unique merits of antiferromagnets for spintronics.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the author’s version of the work. It is posted here by permission of the AAAS for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Science on vol. 351, 5 Feb 2016, DOI:10.1126/science.aab1031
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Science > School of Physics and Astronomy
Identification Number: 10.1126/science.aab1031
Depositing User: Edmonds, Kevin
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2017 14:09
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2017 08:14
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/41064

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