Identification of Néel Vector Orientation in Antiferromagnetic Domains Switched by Currents in NiO/Pt Thin Films

C. Schmitt, L. Baldrati, L. Sanchez-Tejerina, F. Schreiber, A. Ross, M. Filianina, S. Ding, F. Fuhrmann, R. Ramos, F. Maccherozzi, D. Backes, M.-A. Mawass, F. Kronast, S. Valencia, E. Saitoh, G. Finocchio, M. Kläui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding the electrical manipulation of antiferromagnetic order is a crucial aspect to enable the design of antiferromagnetic devices working at THz frequency. Focusing on collinear insulating antiferromagnetic NiO/Pt thin films as a materials platform, we identify the crystallographic orientation of the domains that can be switched by currents and quantify the N\'eel vector direction changes. We demonstrate electrical switching between different T-domains by current pulses, finding that the N\'eel vector orientation in these domains is along $[\pm1\ \pm1\ 3.8]$, different compared to the bulk $$ directions. The final state of the N\'eel vector $\textbf{n}$ switching after current pulses $\textbf{j}$ along the $[1\ \pm1\ 0]$ directions is $\textbf{n}\parallel \textbf{j}$. By comparing the observed N\'eel vector orientation and the strain in the thin films, assuming that this variation arises solely from magnetoelastic effects, we quantify the order of magnitude of the magnetoelastic coupling coefficient as $b_{0}+2b_{1}=3*10^7 J\ m^{-3}$ . This information is key for the understanding of current-induced switching in antiferromagnets and for the design and use of such devices as active elements in spintronic devices.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysical Review Applied
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 16 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-06-25
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): OSR-2019-CRG8-4048
Acknowledgements: L.B acknowledges the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreements ARTES number 793159. L.B., A.R., S.D., M.F. and M.K. acknowledge support from the Graduate School of Excellence Materials Science in Mainz (MAINZ) DFG 266, the DAAD (Spintronics network, Project No. 57334897) and all groups from Mainz acknowledge that this work was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) - TRR 173 –
268565370 (projects A01 and B02) and KAUST (OSR-2019-CRG8-4048). M.K. acknowledges financial support from the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Commission under FET-Open grant agreement no. 863155 (sNebula). We acknowledge Diamond Light Source for time on beamline I06 under proposals MM22448 and MM23819-1. This work was also supported by ERATO “Spin Quantum Rectification Project” (Grant No. JPMJER1402) and the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative
Area, “Nano Spin Conversion Science” (Grant No. JP26103005), Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (S) (Grant No. JP19H05600) from JSPS KAKENHI, R.R. also acknowledges support by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) (Grant No. JP20K05297) from JSPS
KAKENHI, Japan. This work was supported by the Max Planck Graduate Centre with the Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz (MPGC)
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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