As a candidate material for applications such as magnetic memory, polycrystalline antiferromagnets offer the same robustness to external magnetic fields, THz spin dynamics, and lack of stray fields as their single crystalline counterparts, but without the limitation of epitaxial growth and lattice matched substrates. Here, we first report the detection of the average Néel vector orientation in polycrystalline NiO via spin Hall magnetoresistance (SMR). Second, by applying strain through a piezo-electric substrate, we reduce the critical magnetic field required to reach a saturation of the SMR signal, indicating a change of the anisotropy. Our results are consistent with polycrystalline NiO exhibiting a positive sign of the in-plane magnetostriction. This method of anisotropy-tuning offers an energy efficient, on-chip alternative to manipulate a polycrystalline antiferromagnet's magnetic state.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)