Researchers show that the magnetic state of antferromagnets can be switched using surface induced strain

Researchers at the Czech Academy of Sciences, Institut Polytechnique de Paris, Vienna Technical University (TU Wien), Charles University, Malvern Panalytical B.V., Nuclear Physics Institute CAS and the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) recently made an important step that could advance the field of spintronics: they managed to switch the spins in an antiferromagnetic material using surface strain. 

"There are different types of magnetism," explains Sergii Khmelevskyi from the Vienna Scientific Cluster Research Center, Vienna Technical University. "The best known is ferromagnetism. It occurs when the atomic spins in a material are all aligned in parallel. But there is also the opposite, antiferromagnetism. In an antiferromagnetic material, neighboring atoms always have opposite spins." Their effects therefore cancel each other out and no magnetic force can be detected from the outside.

Read the full story Posted: Feb 21,2024

Researchers report a new type of magnetism called altermagnetism

Researchers have conducted experiments at the Swiss Light Source SLS that resulted in proof of the existence of a new type of magnetism: altermagnetism. The experimental discovery of this new branch of magnetism could signify new fundamental physics, with major implications for spintronics.

Since the discovery of antiferromagnets nearly a century ago, the family of magnetic materials has been divided into two fundamental phases: the ferromagnetic branch known for several millennia and the antiferromagnetic branch. The experimental proof of a third branch of magnetism, termed altermagnetism, was made by an international collaboration led by the Czech Academy of Sciences together with Paul Scherrer Institute PSI. The fundamental magnetic phases are defined by the specific spontaneous arrangements of magnetic moments—or electron spins—and of atoms that carry the moments in crystals.

Read the full story Posted: Feb 16,2024

Researchers develop spin-selective memtransistors with magnetized graphene

An interdisciplinary collaboration of researchers from South Korea and Singapore recently reported a significant advance towards achieving spin-polarized van der Waals heterostructures. The team designed a spin-selective memtransistor device using single-layer graphene deposited on the antiferromagnetic van der Waals magnetic insulator CrI3

Transport measurements combined with first-principles calculations provide unprecedented insights into tailoring reciprocal magnetic proximity interactions to generate and probe proximitized magnetism in graphene at room temperature.

Read the full story Posted: Feb 08,2024

Researchers examine new ways to excite spin waves with infrared light

Researchers have devised a new ultrafast method for controlling magnetic materials, that may enable next-generation information processing technologies.

A possible solution for building faster systems for processing is to use patterns of electron spins, called spin waves, to transfer and process information much more rapidly than in conventional computers. So far, a major challenge has been in manipulating these ultrafast spin waves to do useful work. Announcing a significant step forward, researchers from The University of Texas at Austin and MIT have developed a method to precisely manipulate these ultrafast spin waves using tailored light pulses. Their findings are detailed in two studies in Nature Physics, led by MIT graduate student Zhuquan Zhang, University of Texas at Austin postdoctoral researcher Frank Gao, MIT’s professor of chemistry Keith Nelson and UT Austin assistant professor of physics Edoardo Baldini.

Read the full story Posted: Feb 01,2024

Researchers propose chemical method for reversible Magnetic phase transition in 2D organometallic lattices

Researchers from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), led by Associate Prof. Li Xingxing and Prof. Yang Jinlong, recently developed a novel chemical method for two-dimensional metal-organic lattices.

In spintronics, it is paramount to develop an efficient way to reversibly control the spin order of materials. Though various physical methods have been proposed, chemically achieving this has posed significant challenges. The researchers proposed the utilization of the well-recognized lactim−lactam tautomerization process to reversibly modulate the magnetic phase transition in two-dimensional (2D) organometallic lattices. This could offer new pathways for controlling the electrical and magnetic characteristics of materials.

Read the full story Posted: Nov 11,2023

Researchers report room-temperature magnetic phase transition in an electrically tuned van der Waals ferromagnet

Researchers at China's Hefei University of Technology, University of Science and Technology of China, South China University of Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Anhui University, Australia's RMIT University, University of New South Wales, Saudi Arabia's Al-Baha University and University of Jeddah have reported magnetism in a quasi-2D magnet Cr1.2Te2, observed at room temperature (290 K). 

By intercalating protons into van der Waals ferromagnet Cr1.2Te2 nanoflakes, the group of researchers successfully induced a room-temperature magnetic phase transition from ferromagnetism to antiferromagnetism.

Read the full story Posted: Nov 08,2023

Researchers report enhanced thermally-activated skyrmion diffusion with tunable effective gyrotropic force

Researchers at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, the University of Konstanz and Tohoku University in Japan have increased the diffusion of magnetic whirls, so called skyrmions, by a factor of ten.

Science often does not simply consider the spin of an individual electron, but rather magnetic whirls composed of numerous spins. These whirls, called skyrmions, emerge in magnetic metallic thin layers and can be considered as two-dimensional quasi-particles. On the one hand, the whirls can be deliberately moved by applying a small electric current to the thin layers; on the other hand, they move randomly and extremely efficiently due to diffusion. The feasibility of creating a functional computer based on skyrmions was demonstrated by a team of researchers from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), led by Professor Dr. Mathias Kläui, using an initial prototype. This prototype consisted of thin, stacked metallic layers, some only a few atomic layers thick.

Read the full story Posted: Sep 12,2023

Researchers report anomalous dynamics of non-collinear antiferromagnets

Researchers from MIT and Tohoku University have reported a representative effect of the anomalous dynamics at play when an electric current is applied to a class of magnetic materials called non-collinear antiferromagnets. 

Non-collinear antiferromagnets have properties distinct from conventional magnetic materials—in traditional collinear magnets, the magnetic moments align in a collinear fashion. However, in non-collinear ones, the moments form finite angles between one another. Scientists describe these non-collinear arrangements as a single order parameter, the octupole moment, which has been demonstrated to be critical for determining the exotic properties of the materials.

Read the full story Posted: Aug 06,2023

Researchers report unusual motion across a layered magnetic material tied to changing its electron spin

A team of researchers from the DOE/Argonne National Laboratory and U.S. additional laboratories and universities have reported a mechanical response across a layered magnetic material tied to changing its electron spin. This response could have important applications in nanodevices requiring ultra-precise and fast motion control.

A little over a century ago, physicists Albert Einstein and Wander de Haas reported a surprising effect in ferromagnets: if you suspend an iron cylinder from a wire and expose it to a magnetic field, it will start rotating if you simply reverse the direction of the magnetic field. "Einstein and de Haas's experiment is almost like a magic show," said Haidan Wen, a physicist in the Materials Science and X-ray Science divisions of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory. ​"You can cause a cylinder to rotate without ever touching it."

Read the full story Posted: Aug 03,2023

Researchers report electrically tunable moiré magnetism in twisted double bilayers of chromium triiodide

Researchers from Purdue University, Pennsylvania State University and Japan's National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) have reported electrically tunable moiré magnetism in twisted double bilayers (a bilayer on top of a bilayer with a twist angle between them) of layered antiferromagnet chromium triiodide. 

Using magneto-optical Kerr effect microscopy, the team observed the coexistence of antiferromagnetic and ferromagnetic order with non-zero net magnetization—a hallmark of moiré magnetism. Such a magnetic state extends over a wide range of twist angles (with transitions at around 0° and above 20°) and exhibits a non-monotonic temperature dependence. The researchers also demonstrated voltage-assisted magnetic switching. The observed non-trivial magnetic states, as well as control via twist angle, temperature and electrical gating, are supported by a simulated phase diagram of moiré magnetism.

Read the full story Posted: Jun 20,2023