Spintronic devices based on antiferromagnetic (AFM) materials hold the promise of fast switching speeds and robustness against magnetic fields1,2,3. Different device concepts have been predicted4,5 and experimentally demonstrated, such as low-temperature AFM tunnel junctions that operate as spin-valves6, or room-temperature AFM memory, for which either thermal heating in combination with magnetic fields7 or Néel spin–orbit torque8 is used for the information writing process. On the other hand, piezoelectric materials were employed to control magnetism by electric fields in multiferroic heterostructures9,10,11,12, which suppresses Joule heating caused by switching currents and may enable low-energy-consuming electronic devices. Here, we combine the two material classes to explore changes in the resistance of the high-Néel-temperature antiferromagnet MnPt induced by piezoelectric strain. We find two non-volatile resistance states at room temperature and zero electric field that are stable in magnetic fields up to 60 T. Furthermore, the strain-induced resistance switching process is insensitive to magnetic fields. Integration in a tunnel junction can further amplify the electroresistance. The tunnelling anisotropic magnetoresistance reaches ~11.2% at room temperature. Overall, we demonstrate a piezoelectric, strain-controlled AFM memory that is fully operational in strong magnetic fields and has the potential for low-energy and high-density memory applications.
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The data that support plots within this paper and other findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.
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Zhiqi L. acknowledges financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC; grant numbers 51822101, 51771009 and 11704018). Z.Z. and Zhiqi L. acknowledge financial support from the NSFC on the Science Foundation Ireland–NSFC Partnership Programme (NSFC grant number 51861135104). S.S. and Zikui L. acknowledge financial support from the US Department of Energy (award number DE-FE0031553). M.C. acknowledges support from Science Foundation Ireland contract 12/RC/2278. Z.C. acknowledges the NSFC (number 51802057) and a startup grant from the Harbin Institute of Technology (Shenzhen, China), under project number DD45001017. The Advanced Light Source is supported by the Director, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, of the US DOE under contract DE-AC02-05CH11231.