Laser-Induced Creation of Antiferromagnetic 180-Degree Domains in NiO/Pt Bilayers

Hendrik Meer, Stephan Wust, Christin Schmitt, Paul Herrgen, Felix Fuhrmann, Steffen Hirtle, Beatrice Bednarz, Adithya Rajan, Rafael Ramos, Miguel Angel Niño, Michael Foerster, Florian Kronast, Armin Kleibert, Baerbel Rethfeld, Eiji Saitoh, Benjamin Stadtmüller, Martin Aeschlimann, Mathias Kläui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The antiferromagnetic order in heterostructures of NiO/Pt thin films can be modified by optical pulses. After the irradiation with laser light, the optically induced creation of antiferromagnetic domains can be observed by imaging the created domain structure utilizing the X-ray magnetic linear dichroism effect. The effect of different laser polarizations on the domain formation can be studied and used to identify a polarization-independent creation of 180° domain walls and domains with 180° different Néel vector orientation. By varying the irradiation parameters, the switching mechanism can be determined to be thermally induced. This study demonstrates experimentally the possibility to optically create antiferromagnetic domains, an important step towards future functionalization of all optical switching mechanisms in antiferromagnets.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2213536
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
StatePublished - Mar 18 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-03-21
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): OSR-2019-CRG8-4048
Acknowledgements: The authors thank T. Reimer and L. Schnitzspan for skillful technical assistance and O. Gomonay for her comments. Experiments were performed at the CIRCE beamline at ALBA Synchrotron with the collaboration of ALBA staff. The authors thank HZB for the allocation of synchrotron radiation beamtime and thankfully acknowledge the financial support by HZB. The authors acknowledge the Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen, Switzerland for the beamtime allocation under proposal 20211822 at the SIM beamline of the SLS. B.B. and A. R. acknowledge funding from the European Union's Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 (2014–2020) under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No. 860060 (ITN MagnEFi). M.K. acknowledges support from the Graduate School of Excellence Materials Science in Mainz (MAINZ) DFG 266, the DAAD (Spintronics network, Project No. 57334897 and Insulator Spin-Orbitronics, Project No. 57524834), and all groups from Mainz and Kaiserslautern acknowledge that this work was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation), TRR 173-268565370 (Project Nos. A01, A08, B02 and B03) and KAUST (OSR-2019-CRG8-4048). B.S. further acknowledges funding by the Dynamics and Topology Research Center (TopDyn) funded by the State of Rhineland Palatinate. M.K. acknowledges financial support from the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Commission under FET-Open Grant Agreement No. 863155 (s-Nebula). 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, Japan. M.A.N. and M.F. acknowledge Spanish ICNN funding through project ECLIPSE (PID2021-122980OB-C54). R.R. also acknowledges support from the Grant RYC 2019-026915-I, the Project TED2021-130930B-I00 funded by thee MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033 and by the ESF investing in your future and the European Union NextGenerationEU/PRTR, the Xunta de Galicia (ED431F 2022/04, ED431B 2021/013, Centro Singular de Investigación de Galicia Accreditation 2019-2022, ED431G 2019/03) and the European Union (European Regional Development Fund - ERDF)
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Electrochemistry
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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