Spin transport and spin torque in antiferromagnetic devices

A Publisher Correction to this article was published on 18 December 2018

This article has been updated


Ferromagnets are key materials for sensing and memory applications. In contrast, antiferromagnets, which represent the more common form of magnetically ordered materials, have found less practical application beyond their use for establishing reference magnetic orientations via exchange bias. This might change in the future due to the recent progress in materials research and discoveries of antiferromagnetic spintronic phenomena suitable for device applications. Experimental demonstration of the electrical switching and detection of the Néel order open a route towards memory devices based on antiferromagnets. Apart from the radiation and magnetic-field hardness, memory cells fabricated from antiferromagnets can be inherently multilevel, which could be used for neuromorphic computing. Switching speeds attainable in antiferromagnets far exceed those of ferromagnetic and semiconductor memory technologies. Here, we review the recent progress in electronic spin-transport and spin-torque phenomena in antiferromagnets that are dominantly of the relativistic quantum-mechanical origin. We discuss their utility in pure antiferromagnetic or hybrid ferromagnetic/antiferromagnetic memory devices.

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Fig. 1: Illustration of the various concepts proposed for the electrical detection and manipulation of antiferromagnetic order.
Fig. 2: AMR and ISGE spin–orbit torque in antiferromagnets.
Fig. 3: Demonstration of microelectronic compatibility of the CuMnAs memory cell.
Fig. 4 : The SHE and the SHE spin–orbit torque in antiferromagnets.

Change history

  • 18 December 2018

    In the version of this Review Article originally published, the affiliations of the authors J. Železný, P. Wadley and K. Olejník were incorrect and should have read: “J. Železný1,2, P. Wadley3, K. Olejník2. 1Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Dresden, Germany. 2Institute of Physics, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Praha, Czech Republic. 3School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.” These have now been corrected in the online versions.


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We acknowledge support from EU FET Open RIA grant no. 766566. The contributions from A.H. preparing this manuscript were supported by the Department of Energy, Office of Science, Materials Science and Engineering Division. J.Ž. acknowledges support from the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences and the Max Planck Society through the Max Planck Partner Group programme. P.W. acknowledges support from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council grant EP/P019749/1 and from the Royal Society through a University Research Fellowship.

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Železný, J., Wadley, P., Olejník, K. et al. Spin transport and spin torque in antiferromagnetic devices. Nature Phys 14, 220–228 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41567-018-0062-7

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