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Spin transport and spin torque in antiferromagnetic devices

Nature Physicsvolume 14pages220228 (2018) | Download Citation

Abstract

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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Acknowledgements

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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Author notes

  1. These authors contributed equally: J. Železný and P. Wadley

Affiliations

  1. Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Dresden, Germany

    • J. Železný
  2. Institute of Physics, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Praha, Czech Republic

    • J. Železný
    •  & P. Wadley
  3. School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK

    • K. Olejník
  4. Materials Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL, USA

    • A. Hoffmann
  5. Center for Spintronics Integrated Systems, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan

    • H. Ohno
  6. Center for Innovative Integrated Electronic Systems, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan

    • H. Ohno
  7. Laboratory for Nanoelectronics and Spintronics, Research Institute of Electrical Communication, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan

    • H. Ohno
  8. WPI Advanced Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan

    • H. Ohno

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