Exchange bias is a property of widespread technological utility, but its underlying mechanism remains elusive, in part because it is rooted in the interaction of coexisting order parameters in the presence of complex magnetic disorder. Here we show that a giant exchange bias housed within a spin-glass phase arises in a disordered antiferromagnet. The magnitude and robustness of the exchange bias emerges from a convolution of two energetic landscapes, namely the highly degenerate landscape of the spin glass biased by the sublattice spin configuration of the antiferromagnet. The former provides a source of uncompensated moment, whereas the latter provides a mechanism for its pinning, which leads to the exchange bias. Tuning the relative strengths of the spin-glass and antiferromagnetic order parameters reveals a principle for tailoring the exchange bias, with potential applications to spintronic technologies.
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This work was supported as part of the Center for Novel Pathways to Quantum Coherence in Materials, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the United States Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences. Work by J.G.A. was partially supported by the EPiQS Initiative of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through grant no. GBMF9067. R.A.M. and J.R.L. were supported by the National Science Foundation through award no. DMR-1611525. A portion of this work was performed at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, which is supported by the National Science Foundation cooperative agreement no. DMR-1644779 and the State of Florida. Laue microdiffraction measurements were done with the assistance of C. Stan in the Advanced Light Source beamline 12.3.2, which is an Office of Science User Facility of the Department of Energy, under contract no. DE-AC02-05CH11231.
The authors declare no competing interests.
Peer review information Nature Physics thanks Per Nordblad and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
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Supplementary Figs. 1–18, Sections 1–15 and Tables 1–3.
Laue microdiffraction measurements showing the diffraction peaks combined with the 2H-Fe1/3NbS2 structure fits (the squares on top). The attached movie presents a homogeneous structure along approximately 35 μm lateral scan for x = 0.30 intercalation. The scan range was determined by the size of the sample.
Laue microdiffraction measurements showing the diffraction peaks combined with the 2H-Fe1/3NbS2 structure fits (the squares on top). The attached movies present a homogeneous structure along approximately 350 μm lateral scan for x = 0.31 intercalation. The scan range was determined by the size of the sample.
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Maniv, E., Murphy, R.A., Haley, S.C. et al. Exchange bias due to coupling between coexisting antiferromagnetic and spin-glass orders. Nat. Phys. 17, 525–530 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41567-020-01123-w
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