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Optical determination of the Néel vector in a CuMnAs thin-film antiferromagnet

DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2016.255 DOI Help

Authors: V. Saidl (Charles University; Institute of Physics ASCR;) , P. Němec (Charles University) , Peter Wadley (University of Nottingham) , Victoria Hills (University of Nottingham) , R. P. Campion (University of Nottingham) , V. Novák (Institute of Physics ASCR) , K. W. Edmonds (University of Nottingham) , Francesco Maccherozzi (Diamond Light Source) , S. S. Dhesi (Diamond Light Source) , B. L. Gallagher (University of Nottingham) , F. Trojánek (Charles University) , J. Kuneš (Institute of Physics ASCR; Institute for Solid State Physics, TU Wien) , J. Železný (Institute of Physics ASCR; Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids) , P. Malý (Charles University) , T. Jungwirth (Institute of Physics ASCR; University of Nottingham)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Nature Photonics

State: Published (Approved)
Published: January 2017
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 9993

Abstract: Recent breakthroughs in the electrical detection and manipulation of antiferromagnets have opened a new avenue in the research of non-volatile spintronic devices. Antiparallel spin sublattices in antiferromagnets, producing zero dipolar fields, lead to insensitivity to magnetic field perturbations, multi-level stability, ultrafast spin dynamics and other favourable characteristics, and may find utility in fields ranging from magnetic memories to optical signal processing. However, the absence of a net magnetic moment and ultrashort magnetization dynamics timescales make antiferromagnets notoriously difficult to study using common magnetometers or magnetic resonance techniques. Here, we demonstrate the experimental determination of the Néel vector in a thin film of antiferromagnetic CuMnAs (refs 9,10), a prominent material used in the first realization of antiferromagnetic memory chips10. We use a table-top femtosecond pump–probe magneto-optical experiment that is considerably more accessible than the traditionally employed large-scale-facility techniques such as neutron diffraction11 and X-ray magnetic dichroism measurements.

Journal Keywords: Circular dichroism; Information storage; Nanoscale materials; Spintronics

Subject Areas: Physics

Instruments: I06-Nanoscience

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