Antiferromagnetic spintronics

Nat Nanotechnol. 2016 Mar;11(3):231-41. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2016.18.


Antiferromagnetic materials are internally magnetic, but the direction of their ordered microscopic moments alternates between individual atomic sites. The resulting zero net magnetic moment makes magnetism in antiferromagnets externally invisible. This implies that information stored in antiferromagnetic moments would be invisible to common magnetic probes, insensitive to disturbing magnetic fields, and the antiferromagnetic element would not magnetically affect its neighbours, regardless of how densely the elements are arranged in the device. The intrinsic high frequencies of antiferromagnetic dynamics represent another property that makes antiferromagnets distinct from ferromagnets. Among the outstanding questions is how to manipulate and detect the magnetic state of an antiferromagnet efficiently. In this Review we focus on recent works that have addressed this question. The field of antiferromagnetic spintronics can also be viewed from the general perspectives of spin transport, magnetic textures and dynamics, and materials research. We briefly mention this broader context, together with an outlook of future research and applications of antiferromagnetic spintronics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review