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Electrical switching of an antiferromagnet

DOI: 10.1126/science.aab1031 DOI Help
PMID: 26841431 PMID Help

Authors: P. Wadley (University of Nottingham) , B. Howells (University of Nottingham) , J. Zelezny (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic) , C. Andrews (University of Nottingham) , V. Hills (University of Nottingham) , R. P. Campion (University of Nottingham) , V. Novak (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic) , K. Olejnik (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic) , F. Maccherozzi (Diamond Light Source) , S. S. Dhesi (Diamond Light Source) , S. Y. Martin (Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory) , T. Wagner (Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory) , J. Wunderlich (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic) , F. Freimuth (Peter Grünberg Institut and Institute for Advanced Simulation) , Y. Mokrousov (Peter Grünberg Institut and Institute for Advanced Simulation) , J. Kune  (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic) , J. S. Chauhan (University of Nottingham) , M. Grzybowski (Polish Academy of Sciences; University of Nottingham) , A. Rushforth (University of Nottingham) , K. Edmonds (University of Nottingham) , B. L. Gallagher (University of Nottingham) , T Jungwirth (University of Nottingham)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Science , VOL 351 (6273

State: Published (Approved)
Published: January 2016
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 12504

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 Acm−2. 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.

Subject Areas: Physics

Instruments: I06-Nanoscience

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