We report the observation of the three-dimensional angular dependence of the spin Hall magnetoresistance (SMR) in a bilayer of the epitaxial antiferromagnetic insulator NiO(001) and the heavy metal Pt, without any ferromagnetic element. The detected angular-dependent longitudinal and transverse magnetoresistances are measured by rotating the sample in magnetic fields up to 11 T, along three orthogonal planes (xy-, yz-, and xz-rotation planes, where the z axis is orthogonal to the sample plane). The total magnetoresistance has contributions arising from both the SMR and ordinary magnetoresistance. The onset of the SMR signal occurs between 1 and 3 T and no saturation is visible up to 11 T. The three-dimensional angular dependence of the SMR can be explained by a model considering the reversible field-induced redistribution of magnetostrictive antiferromagnetic S and T domains in the NiO(001), stemming from the competition between the Zeeman energy and the elastic clamping effect of the nonmagnetic MgO substrate. From the observed SMR ratio, we estimate the spin mixing conductance at the NiO/Pt interface to be greater than 2×1014Ω-1m-2. Our results demonstrate the possibility to electrically detect the Néel vector direction in stable NiO(001) thin films, for rotations in the xy and xz planes. Moreover, we show that a careful subtraction of the ordinary magnetoresistance contribution is crucial to correctly estimate the amplitude of the SMR.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics