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Isothermal anisotropic magnetoresistance in antiferromagnetic metallic IrMn

R. Galceran, I. Fina, J. Cisneros-Fernández, B. Bozzo, C. Frontera, L. López-Mir, H. Deniz, K.-W. Park, B.-G. Park, Ll. Balcells, X. Martí, T. Jungwirth & B. Martínez. Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 35471 (2016). doi:10.1038/srep35471

 Antiferromagnetic spintronics is an emerging field; antiferromagnets can improve the functionalities of ferromagnets with higher response times, and having the information shielded against external magnetic field. Moreover, a large list of aniferromagnetic semiconductors and metals with Néel temperatures above room temperature exists. In the present manuscript, we persevere in the quest for the limits of how large can anisotropic magnetoresistance be in antiferromagnetic materials with very large spin-orbit coupling. We selected IrMn as a prime example of first-class moment (Mn) and spin-orbit (Ir) combination. Isothermal magnetotransport measurements in an antiferromagnetic-metal(IrMn)/ferromagnetic-insulator thin film bilayer have been performed. The metal/insulator structure with magnetic coupling between both layers allows the measurement of the modulation of the transport properties exclusively in the antiferromagnetic layer. Anisotropic magnetoresistance as large as 0.15% has been found, which is much larger than that for a bare IrMn layer. Interestingly, it has been observed that anisotropic magnetoresistance is strongly influenced by the field cooling conditions, signaling the dependence of the found response on the formation of domains at the magnetic ordering temperature.

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