Ferromagnets are key materials for sensing and memory applications. In contrast, antiferromagnets, which represent the more common form of magnetically ordered materials, have found less practical application beyond their use for establishing reference magnetic orientations via exchange bias. This might change in the future due to the recent progress in materials research and discoveries of antiferromagnetic spintronic phenomena suitable for device applications. Experimental demonstration of the electrical switching and detection of the Neél order open a route towards memory devices based on antiferromagnets. Apart from the radiation and magnetic-field hardness, memory cells fabricated from antiferromagnets can be inherently multilevel, which could be used for neuromorphic computing. Switching speeds attainable in antiferromagnets far exceed those of ferromagnetic and semiconductor memory technologies. Here, we review the recent progress in electronic spin-transport and spin-torque phenomena in antiferromagnets that are dominantly of the relativistic quantum-mechanical origin. We discuss their utility in pure antiferromagnetic or hybrid ferromagnetic/antiferromagnetic memory devices.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)