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1.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 5715, 2020 Nov 11.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33177506

RESUMEN

The ability to represent information using an antiferromagnetic material is attractive for future antiferromagnetic spintronic devices. Previous studies have focussed on the utilization of antiferromagnetic materials with biaxial magnetic anisotropy for electrical manipulation. A practical realization of these antiferromagnetic devices is limited by the requirement of material-specific constraints. Here, we demonstrate current-induced switching in a polycrystalline PtMn/Pt metallic heterostructure. A comparison of electrical transport measurements in PtMn with and without the Pt layer, corroborated by x-ray imaging, reveals reversible switching of the thermally-stable antiferromagnetic Néel vector by spin-orbit torques. The presented results demonstrate the potential of polycrystalline metals for antiferromagnetic spintronics.

2.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 3190, 2020 Jun 24.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32581280

RESUMEN

Epitaxial films may be released from growth substrates and transferred to structurally and chemically incompatible substrates, but epitaxial films of transition metal perovskite oxides have not been transferred to electroactive substrates for voltage control of their myriad functional properties. Here we demonstrate good strain transmission at the incoherent interface between a strain-released film of epitaxially grown ferromagnetic La0.7Sr0.3MnO3 and an electroactive substrate of ferroelectric 0.68Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)O3-0.32PbTiO3 in a different crystallographic orientation. Our strain-mediated magnetoelectric coupling compares well with respect to epitaxial heterostructures, where the epitaxy responsible for strong coupling can degrade film magnetization via strain and dislocations. Moreover, the electrical switching of magnetic anisotropy is repeatable and non-volatile. High-resolution magnetic vector maps reveal that micromagnetic behaviour is governed by electrically controlled strain and cracks in the film. Our demonstration should inspire others to control the physical/chemical properties in strain-released epitaxial oxide films by using electroactive substrates to impart strain via non-epitaxial interfaces.

3.
Nanoscale ; 12(9): 5652-5657, 2020 Mar 07.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32101212

RESUMEN

Using photoemission electron microscopy (PEEM) to image ferromagnetism in polycrystalline Ni disks, and ferroelectricity in their single-crystal BaTiO3 substrates, we find that voltage-driven 90° ferroelectric domain switching serves to reversibly annihilate each magnetic vortex via uniaxial compressive strain, and that the orientation of the resulting bi-domain reveals the chirality of the annihilated vortex. Micromagnetic simulations reveal that only 60% of this strain is required for annihilation. Voltage control of magnetic vortices is novel, and should be energetically favourable with respect to the use of a magnetic field or an electrical current. In future, stray field from bi-domains could be exploited to read vortex chirality. Given that core polarity can already be read via stray field, our work represents a step towards four-state low-power memory applications.

4.
Phys Rev Lett ; 123(17): 177201, 2019 Oct 25.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31702247

RESUMEN

We probe the current-induced magnetic switching of insulating antiferromagnet-heavy-metal systems, by electrical spin Hall magnetoresistance measurements and direct imaging, identifying a reversal occurring by domain wall (DW) motion. We observe switching of more than one-third of the antiferromagnetic domains by the application of current pulses. Our data reveal two different magnetic switching mechanisms leading together to an efficient switching, namely, the spin-current induced effective magnetic anisotropy variation and the action of the spin torque on the DWs.

5.
Nat Mater ; 18(8): 840-845, 2019 08.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31110346

RESUMEN

Large changes in the magnetization of ferromagnetic films can be electrically driven by non-180° ferroelectric domain switching in underlying substrates, but the shear components of the strains that mediate these magnetoelectric effects have not been considered so far. Here we reveal the presence of these shear strains in a polycrystalline film of Ni on a 0.68Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)O3-0.32PbTiO3 substrate in the pseudo-cubic (011)pc orientation. Although vibrating sample magnetometry records giant magnetoelectric effects that are consistent with the hitherto expected 90° rotations of a global magnetic easy axis, high-resolution vector maps of magnetization (constructed from photoemission electron microscopy data, with contrast from X-ray magnetic circular dichroism) reveal that the local magnetization typically rotates through smaller angles of 62-84°. This shortfall with respect to 90° is a consequence of the shear strain associated with ferroelectric domain switching. The non-orthogonality represents both a challenge and an opportunity for the development and miniaturization of magnetoelectric devices.

6.
Nat Commun ; 8(1): 1583, 2017 11 17.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29146896

RESUMEN

Exploiting multiferroic BiFeO3 thin films in spintronic devices requires deterministic and robust control of both internal magnetoelectric coupling in BiFeO3, as well as exchange coupling of its antiferromagnetic order to a ferromagnetic overlayer. Previous reports utilized approaches based on multi-step ferroelectric switching with multiple ferroelectric domains. Because domain walls can be responsible for fatigue, contain localized charges intrinsically or via defects, and present problems for device reproducibility and scaling, an alternative approach using a monodomain magnetoelectric state with single-step switching is desirable. Here we demonstrate room temperature, deterministic and robust, exchange coupling between monodomain BiFeO3 films and Co overlayer that is intrinsic (i.e., not dependent on domain walls). Direct coupling between BiFeO3 antiferromagnetic order and Co magnetization is observed, with ~ 90° in-plane Co moment rotation upon single-step switching that is reproducible for hundreds of cycles. This has important consequences for practical, low power non-volatile magnetoelectric devices utilizing BiFeO3.

7.
Sci Rep ; 7(1): 11147, 2017 09 11.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28894219

RESUMEN

Using x-ray magnetic circular and linear dichroism techniques, we demonstrate a collinear exchange coupling between an epitaxial antiferromagnet, tetragonal CuMnAs, and an Fe surface layer. A small uncompensated Mn magnetic moment is observed which is antiparallel to the Fe magnetization. The staggered magnetization of the 5 nm thick CuMnAs layer is rotatable under small magnetic fields, due to the interlayer exchange coupling. This allows us to obtain the x-ray magnetic linear dichroism spectra for different crystalline orientations of CuMnAs in the (001) plane. This is a key parameter for enabling the understanding of domain structures in CuMnAs imaged using x-ray magnetic linear dichroism microscopy techniques.

8.
Phys Rev Lett ; 118(5): 057701, 2017 Feb 03.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28211721

RESUMEN

The magnetic order in antiferromagnetic materials is hard to control with external magnetic fields. Using x-ray magnetic linear dichroism microscopy, we show that staggered effective fields generated by electrical current can induce modification of the antiferromagnetic domain structure in microdevices fabricated from a tetragonal CuMnAs thin film. A clear correlation between the average domain orientation and the anisotropy of the electrical resistance is demonstrated, with both showing reproducible switching in response to orthogonally applied current pulses. However, the behavior is inhomogeneous at the submicron level, highlighting the complex nature of the switching process in multidomain antiferromagnetic films.

9.
Sci Rep ; 7: 42107, 2017 02 10.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28186114

RESUMEN

We investigate the role of lithographically-induced strain relaxation in a micron-scaled device fabricated from epitaxial thin films of the magnetostrictive alloy Fe81Ga19. The strain relaxation due to lithographic patterning induces a magnetic anisotropy that competes with the magnetocrystalline and shape induced anisotropies to play a crucial role in stabilising a flux-closing domain pattern. We use magnetic imaging, micromagnetic calculations and linear elastic modelling to investigate a region close to the edges of an etched structure. This highly-strained edge region has a significant influence on the magnetic domain configuration due to an induced magnetic anisotropy resulting from the inverse magnetostriction effect. We investigate the competition between the strain-induced and shape-induced anisotropy energies, and the resultant stable domain configurations, as the width of the bar is reduced to the nanoscale range. Understanding this behaviour will be important when designing hybrid magneto-electric spintronic devices based on highly magnetostrictive materials.

10.
Nat Commun ; 7: 13141, 2016 11 02.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27804954

RESUMEN

Nucleation processes of mixed-phase states are an intrinsic characteristic of first-order phase transitions, typically related to local symmetry breaking. Direct observation of emerging mixed-phase regions in materials showing a first-order metal-insulator transition (MIT) offers unique opportunities to uncover their driving mechanism. Using photoemission electron microscopy, we image the nanoscale formation and growth of insulating domains across the temperature-driven MIT in NdNiO3 epitaxial thin films. Heteroepitaxy is found to strongly determine the nanoscale nature of the phase transition, inducing preferential formation of striped domains along the terraces of atomically flat stepped surfaces. We show that the distribution of transition temperatures is a local property, set by surface morphology and stable across multiple temperature cycles. Our data provide new insights into the MIT of heteroepitaxial nickelates and point to a rich, nanoscale phenomenology in this strongly correlated material.

11.
Phys Rev Lett ; 117(17): 177601, 2016 Oct 21.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27824475

RESUMEN

The physical properties of epitaxial films can fundamentally differ from those of bulk single crystals even above the critical thickness. By a combination of nonresonant x-ray magnetic scattering, neutron diffraction and vector-mapped x-ray magnetic linear dichroism photoemission electron microscopy, we show that epitaxial (111)-BiFeO_{3} films support submicron antiferromagnetic domains, which are magnetoelastically coupled to a coherent crystallographic monoclinic twin structure. This unique texture, which is absent in bulk single crystals, should enable control of magnetism in BiFeO_{3} film devices via epitaxial strain.

12.
Phys Rev Lett ; 117(14): 147201, 2016 Sep 30.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27740785

RESUMEN

We report a spin valve with a few-layer graphene flake bridging highly spin-polarized La_{0.67}Sr_{0.33}MnO_{3} electrodes, whose surfaces are kept clean during lithographic definition. Sharp magnetic switching is verified using photoemission electron microscopy with x-ray magnetic circular dichroism contrast. A naturally occurring high interfacial resistance ∼12 MΩ facilitates spin injection, and a large resistive switching (0.8 MΩ at 10 K) implies a 70-130 µm spin diffusion length that exceeds previous values obtained with sharp-switching electrodes.

13.
Science ; 351(6273): 587-90, 2016 Feb 05.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26841431

RESUMEN

Antiferromagnets are hard to control by external magnetic fields because of the alternating directions of magnetic moments on individual atoms and the resulting zero net magnetization. However, relativistic quantum mechanics allows for generating current-induced internal fields whose sign alternates with the periodicity of the antiferromagnetic lattice. Using these fields, which couple strongly to the antiferromagnetic order, we demonstrate room-temperature electrical switching between stable configurations in antiferromagnetic CuMnAs thin-film devices by applied current with magnitudes of order 10(6) ampere per square centimeter. Electrical writing is combined in our solid-state memory with electrical readout and the stored magnetic state is insensitive to and produces no external magnetic field perturbations, which illustrates the unique merits of antiferromagnets for spintronics.

14.
Sci Rep ; 5: 17079, 2015 Nov 25.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26602978

RESUMEN

Tetragonal CuMnAs is an antiferromagnetic material with favourable properties for applications in spintronics. Using a combination of neutron diffraction and x-ray magnetic linear dichroism, we determine the spin axis and magnetic structure in tetragonal CuMnAs, and reveal the presence of an interfacial uniaxial magnetic anisotropy. From the temperature-dependence of the neutron diffraction intensities, the Néel temperature is shown to be (480 ± 5) K. Ab initio calculations indicate a weak anisotropy in the (ab) plane for bulk crystals, with a large anisotropy energy barrier between in-plane and perpendicular-to-plane directions.

15.
J Chem Phys ; 143(7): 074705, 2015 Aug 21.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26298146

RESUMEN

The intermetallic compound InPd (CsCl type of crystal structure with a broad compositional range) is considered as a candidate catalyst for the steam reforming of methanol. Single crystals of this phase have been grown to study the structure of its three low-index surfaces under ultra-high vacuum conditions, using low energy electron diffraction (LEED), X-ray photoemission spectroscopy (XPS), and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). During surface preparation, preferential sputtering leads to a depletion of In within the top few layers for all three surfaces. The near-surface regions remain slightly Pd-rich until annealing to ∼580 K. A transition occurs between 580 and 660 K where In segregates towards the surface and the near-surface regions become slightly In-rich above ∼660 K. This transition is accompanied by a sharpening of LEED patterns and formation of flat step-terrace morphology, as observed by STM. Several superstructures have been identified for the different surfaces associated with this process. Annealing to higher temperatures (≥750 K) leads to faceting via thermal etching as shown for the (110) surface, with a bulk In composition close to the In-rich limit of the existence domain of the cubic phase. The Pd-rich InPd(111) is found to be consistent with a Pd-terminated bulk truncation model as shown by dynamical LEED analysis while, after annealing at higher temperature, the In-rich InPd(111) is consistent with an In-terminated bulk truncation, in agreement with density functional theory (DFT) calculations of the relative surface energies. More complex surface structures are observed for the (100) surface. Additionally, individual grains of a polycrystalline sample are characterized by micro-spot XPS and LEED as well as low-energy electron microscopy. Results from both individual grains and "global" measurements are interpreted based on comparison to our single crystals findings, DFT calculations and previous literature.

16.
Nat Mater ; 12(1): 52-8, 2013 Jan.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23104152

RESUMEN

Large thermal changes driven by a magnetic field have been proposed for environmentally friendly energy-efficient refrigeration, but only a few materials that suffer hysteresis show these giant magnetocaloric effects. Here we create giant and reversible extrinsic magnetocaloric effects in epitaxial films of the ferromagnetic manganite La(0.7)Ca(0.3)MnO(3) using strain-mediated feedback from BaTiO(3) substrates near a first-order structural phase transition. Our findings should inspire the discovery of giant magnetocaloric effects in a wide range of magnetic materials, and the parallel development of nanostructured bulk samples for practical applications.

17.
J Phys Condens Matter ; 24(2): 024210, 2012 Jan 18.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22173240

RESUMEN

We have studied the dependence on the domain wall structure of the spin-transfer torque current density threshold for the onset of wall motion in curved, Gd-doped Ni(80)Fe(20) nanowires with no artificial pinning potentials. For single vortex domain walls, for both 10% and 1% Gd-doping concentrations, the threshold current density is inversely proportional to the wire width and significantly lower compared to the threshold current density measured for transverse domain walls. On the other hand for high Gd concentrations and large wire widths, double vortex domain walls are formed which require an increase in the threshold current density compared to single vortex domain walls at the same wire width. We suggest that this is due to the coupling of the vortex cores, which are of opposite chirality, and hence will be acted on by opposing forces arising through the spin-transfer torque effect.

18.
Phys Rev Lett ; 106(5): 057209, 2011 Feb 04.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21405433

RESUMEN

Magnetic frustration effects in artificial kagome arrays of nanomagnets are investigated using x-ray photoemission electron microscopy and Monte Carlo simulations. Spin configurations of demagnetized networks reveal unambiguous signatures of long range, dipolar interaction between the nanomagnets. As soon as the system enters the spin ice manifold, the kagome dipolar spin ice model captures the observed physics, while the short range kagome spin ice model fails.

19.
Rev Sci Instrum ; 82(12): 123301, 2011 Dec.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22225209

RESUMEN

The development and performance of a high-precision polarimeter for the polarization analysis in the soft x-ray region is presented. This versatile, high-vacuum compatible instrument is supported on a hexapod to simplify the alignment with a resolution less than 5 µrad, and can be moved with its own independent control system easily between different beamlines and synchrotron facilities. The polarimeter can also be used for the characterization of reflection and transmission properties of optical elements. A W/B(4)C multilayer phase retarder was used to characterize the polarization state up to 1200 eV. A fast and accurate alignment procedure was developed, and complete polarization analysis of the APPLE II undulator at 712 eV has been performed.

20.
Rev Sci Instrum ; 80(4): 043105, 2009 Apr.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-19405649

RESUMEN

We report the main characteristics of the advanced photoelectric effect experiments beamline, operational at Elettra storage ring, featuring a fully independent double branch scheme obtained by the use of chicane undulators and able to keep polarization control in both linear and circular mode. The paper describes the novel technical solutions adopted, namely, (a) the design of a quasiperiodic undulator resulting in optimized suppression of higher harmonics over a large photon energy range (10-100 eV), (b) the thermal stability of optics under high heat load via cryocoolers, and (c) the end station interconnected setup allowing full access to off-beam and on-beam facilities and, at the same time, the integration of users' specialized sample growth chambers or modules.

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