Current-induced Néel order switching facilitated by magnetic phase transition

Hao Wu*, Hantao Zhang, Baomin Wang, Felix Groß, Chao Yao Yang, Gengfei Li, Chenyang Guo, Haoran He, Kin Wong, Di Wu, Xiufeng Han, Chih Huang Lai, Joachim Gräfe, Ran Cheng, Kang L. Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Terahertz (THz) spin dynamics and vanishing stray field make antiferromagnetic (AFM) materials the most promising candidate for the next-generation magnetic memory technology with revolutionary storage density and writing speed. However, owing to the extremely large exchange energy barriers, energy-efficient manipulation has been a fundamental challenge in AFM systems. Here, we report an electrical writing of antiferromagnetic orders through a record-low current density on the order of 106 A cm−2 facilitated by the unique AFM-ferromagnetic (FM) phase transition in FeRh. By introducing a transient FM state via current-induced Joule heating, the spin-orbit torque can switch the AFM order parameter by 90° with a reduced writing current density similar to ordinary FM materials. This mechanism is further verified by measuring the temperature and magnetic bias field dependences, where the X-ray magnetic linear dichroism (XMLD) results confirm the AFM switching besides the electrical transport measurement. Our findings demonstrate the exciting possibility of writing operations in AFM-based devices with a lower current density, opening a new pathway towards pure AFM memory applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1629
JournalNature Communications
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

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