We theoretically study the current-induced spin torque in antiferromagnetic tunnel junctions, composed of two semi-infinite antiferromagnetic layers separated by a tunnel barrier, in both clean and disordered regimes. We find that the torque enabling electrical manipulation of the Néel antiferromagnetic order parameter is out of plane, ∼n×p, while the torque competing with the antiferromagnetic exchange is in plane, ∼n×(p×n). Here, p and n are the Néel order parameter direction of the reference and free layers, respectively. Their bias dependence shows behavior similar to that in ferromagnetic tunnel junctions, the in-plane torque being mostly linear in bias, while the out-of-plane torque is quadratic. Most importantly, we find that the spin transfer torque in antiferromagnetic tunnel junctions is much more robust against disorder than that in antiferromagnetic metallic spin valves due to the tunneling nature of spin transport.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): OSR-2015-CRG4-2626
Acknowledgements: A.M. acknowledges the financial support of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) through the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR; Grant No. OSR-2015-CRG4-2626).