Propagation Length of Antiferromagnetic Magnons Governed by Domain Configurations

Nano Lett. 2020 Jan 8;20(1):306-313. doi: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.9b03837. Epub 2019 Dec 17.


The compensated magnetic order and characteristic terahertz frequencies of antiferromagnetic materials make them promising candidates to develop a new class of robust, ultrafast spintronic devices. The manipulation of antiferromagnetic spin-waves in thin films is anticipated to lead to new exotic phenomena such as spin-superfluidity, requiring an efficient propagation of spin-waves in thin films. However, the reported decay length in thin films has so far been limited to a few nanometers. In this work, we achieve efficient spin-wave propagation over micrometer distances in thin films of the insulating antiferromagnet hematite with large magnetic domains while evidencing much shorter attenuation lengths in multidomain thin films. Through transport and magnetic imaging, we determine the role of the magnetic domain structure and spin-wave scattering at domain walls to govern the transport. We manipulate the spin transport by tailoring the domain configuration through field cycle training. For the appropriate crystalline orientation, zero-field spin transport is achieved across micrometers, as required for device integration.

Keywords: Antiferromagnets; XMLD-PEEM magnetic imaging; magnetic domains; magnon scattering; magnons; spin transport.