Antiferromagnetic insulators offer strategic advantages in spintronic applications because of their negligible stray fields and ultrafast magnetic dynamics. Control of their magnetization and readout of their magnetic state are essential for these applications but remain challenging. Here we report the electrical detection of room-temperature magnetization switching in the canted antiferromagnetic insulator LaFeO3, capped with a Pt or W overlayer. The observation of a large magneto-thermovoltage with an in-plane temperature gradient suggests that the mechanism is the swapping of spin currents in the antiferromagnet. This effect provides a sensitive electrical probe of the tiny net magnetization in the insulator, which can be manipulated by a magnetic field on the order of 10 mT. Our results highlight a new material class of insulating canted antiferromagnets for spintronics and spin caloritronics and suggests a method for the electrical readout of magnetic signals in an antiferromagnetic insulator.
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Source data are available. Additional data supporting the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon request. Source data are provided with this paper.
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We acknowledge support from US National Science Foundation DMREF grants DMR-1729555, DMR-1729588 and DMR-1949701. G.A.F. acknowledges additional funding from DMR-2114825. The work of M.M., B.B. and A.B. was supported by US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences grant no. DE-SC0019275 and benefitted from Northeastern University’s Advanced Scientific Computation Center and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center through Department of Energy grant no. DE-AC02-05CH11231. This research used resources of the Advanced Photon Source, a Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility operated by Argonne National Laboratory under contract no. DE-AC02-06CH11357.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Lin, W., He, J., Ma, B. et al. Evidence for spin swapping in an antiferromagnet. Nat. Phys. (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41567-022-01608-w