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Optical determination of the Néel vector in a CuMnAs thin-film antiferromagnet

Saidl, V.; Němec, P.; Wadley, P.; Hills, V.; Campion, R. P.; Novák, V.; Edmonds, K. W.; Maccherozzi, F.; Dhesi, S. S.; Gallagher, B. L.; Trojánek, F.; Kunes, J.; Železný, J.; Malý, P.; Jungwirth, T.

Authors

V. Saidl

P. Němec

P. Wadley

V. Hills

R. P. Campion

V. Novák

K. W. Edmonds

F. Maccherozzi

S. S. Dhesi

B. L. Gallagher

F. Trojánek

J. Kunes

J. Železný

P. Malý

T. Jungwirth



Abstract

Recent breakthroughs in electrical detection and manipulation of antiferromagnets have opened a new avenue in the research of non-volatile spintronic devices.1-10 Antiparallel spin sublattices in antiferromagnets, producing zero dipolar fields, lead to the insensitivity to magnetic field perturbations, multi-level stability, ultrafast spin dynamics and other favorable characteristics which may find utility in fields ranging from magnetic memories to optical signal processing. However, the absence of a net magnetic moment and the ultra-short magnetization dynamics timescales make antiferromagnets notoriously difficult to study by common magnetometers or magnetic resonance techniques. In this paper we demonstrate the experimental determination of the Néel vector in a thin film of antiferromagnetic CuMnAs9,10 which is the prominent material used in the first realization of antiferromagnetic memory chips.10 We employ a femtosecond pump-probe magneto-optical experiment based on magnetic linear dichroism. This table-top optical method is considerably more accessible than the traditionally employed large scale facility techniques like neutron diffraction11 and Xray magnetic dichroism measurements.12-14 This optical technique allows an unambiguous direct determination of the Néel vector orientation in thin antiferromagnetic films utilized in devices directly from measured data without fitting to a theoretical model.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2017-02
Journal Nature Photonics
Print ISSN 1749-4885
Electronic ISSN 1749-4893
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 2
Pages 91-96
APA6 Citation Saidl, V., Němec, P., Wadley, P., Hills, V., Campion, R. P., Novák, V., …Jungwirth, T. (2017). Optical determination of the Néel vector in a CuMnAs thin-film antiferromagnet. Nature Photonics, 11(2), 91-96. https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2016.255
DOI https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2016.255
Keywords Circular dichroism, Information storage, Nanoscale materials, Spintronics
Publisher URL http://www.nature.com/nphoton/journal/v11/n2/abs/nphoton.2016.255.html
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf
Additional Information Received: 5 August 2016; Accepted: 21 November 2016; First Online: 9 January 2017; : The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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