Ionically driven synthesis and exchange bias in Mn4N/MnNx heterostructures

Zhijie Chen, Christopher J. Jensen, Chen Liu, Xixiang Zhang, Kai Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Ferrimagnets have received renewed attention as a promising platform for spintronic applications. Of particular interest is the Mn4N from the ϵ-phase of the manganese nitride as an emergent rare-earth-free spintronic material due to its perpendicular magnetic anisotropy, small saturation magnetization, high thermal stability, and large domain wall velocity. We have achieved high-quality (001)-ordered Mn4N thin film by sputtering Mn onto η-phase Mn3N2 seed layers on Si substrates. As the deposited Mn thickness varies, nitrogen ion migration across the Mn3N2/Mn layers leads to a continuous evolution of the layers to Mn3N2/Mn2N/Mn4N, Mn2N/Mn4N, and eventually Mn4N alone. The ferrimagnetic Mn4N, indeed, exhibits perpendicular magnetic anisotropy and forms via a nucleation-and-growth mechanism. The nitrogen ion migration is also manifested in a significant exchange bias, up to 0.3 T at 5 K, due to the interactions between ferrimagnetic Mn4N and antiferromagnetic Mn3N2 and Mn2N. These results demonstrate a promising all-nitride magneto-ionic platform with remarkable tunability for device applications.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 22 2023

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-09-12
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): OSR-2019-CRG8-4081
Acknowledgements: This work has been supported in part by the NSF (Nos. DMR-2005108 and ECCS-2151809), SMART (No. 2018-NE-2861), one of seven centers of nCORE, a Semiconductor Research Corporation program, sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and by KAUST (No. OSR-2019-CRG8-4081). The acquisition of a Magnetic Property Measurements System (MPMS3), which was used in this investigation, was supported by the NSF-MRI program (No. DMR-1828420).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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