Xavier Marti, the CTO at IGSresearch discusses real world applications of antiferromagnetic spintronic devices in this interesting IEEE talk:
Researchers from the University of Nottingham discovered a new antiferromagnetic material that may be the basis of future spintronics devices. The new material is copper manganese arsenide (CuMnAs), has an advantage of ferromagnetic materials - in which strong magnetic fields can erase the encoded information.
The problem with antiferromagnets is that manipulating the magnetic ordering of antiferromagnets is quite difficult - because the spins of neighboring electrons point in opposite directions which means it is not easy to change them with external magnetic fields.
Researchers from the University of Nottingham are studying a new antiferromagnetic spintronic material - tetragonal CuMnAs. They say that this new material enables new device structure designs that combine Spintronic and nanoelectronic functionality - at room temperature.
An antiferromagnet is a material in which electron spin on adjacent atoms cancel each other out - and so it was considered unsuitable for Spintronics applications. However it was recently discovered that these materials have a physical phenomena that can enable memory and sensing applications.
Researchers from the US Ames Laboratory in collaboration with Iowa State University and Greece's University of Crete have developed a new way to switch magnetism that is at least 1000 times faster than current technologies. The new technology uses all-optical quantum methods. Magnetic memory switching is used in hard drives and MRAM and this new technology will enable terahertz (or faster) memories.
The new switching technology uses short laser pulses to change the magnetic structure (from anti-ferromagnetic to ferromagnetic ordering) in colossal magnetoresistive materials (CMRs). Current technologies use thermal magnetic switching, which makes it difficult to exceed gigahertz speeds. CMR materials however do not require heat to trigger switching. Those materials however are highly responsive to external magnetic fields. In these materials switching occurs by manipulating spin and charge quantum mechanically.