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Spin Seebeck Imaging of Spin-Torque Switching in Antiferromagnetic Pt/NiO Heterostructures



Isaiah Gray, Takahiro Moriyama, Nikhil Sivadas, Gregory M. Stiehl, John T. Heron, Ryan F. Need, Brian Kirby, David H. Low, Katja Nowack, Darrell G. Schlom, Daniel C. Ralph, Teruo Ono, Gregory D. Fuchs


We demonstrate the spin Seebeck microscope as a sensitive method for imaging in-plane antiferromagnetic order in thin films. Recently, antidamping spin-orbit torques have been used to reorient Neel order in antiferromagnetic devices. Although the readout of the Neel orientation via spin Hall magnetoresistance (SMR) enables all-electrical manipulation and detection, understanding the microscopic details of the switching mechanism has been hindered due to a lack of tabletop methods to image the Neel order. Using spin Seebeck microscopy, we study spin-orbit torque switching in Pt/NiO(111)/Pt devices. We resolve antiferromagnetic spin domains within crystalline twin domains. In addition, we find a linear correlation between the spin-torque-induced changes in the SMR and the integrated spin Seebeck signal, confirming that we image antiferromagnetic order. These measurements reveal antiferromagnetic domain wall motion and domain flopping, providing new understanding of antiferromagnetic switching using spin-orbit torques.
Physical Review X


Neutron scattering, magnetism


Gray, I. , Moriyama, T. , Sivadas, N. , Stiehl, G. , Heron, J. , Need, R. , Kirby, B. , Low, D. , Nowack, K. , Schlom, D. , Ralph, D. , Ono, T. and Fuchs, G. (2019), Spin Seebeck Imaging of Spin-Torque Switching in Antiferromagnetic Pt/NiO Heterostructures, Physical Review X, [online], (Accessed April 15, 2024)
Created October 21, 2019, Updated October 12, 2021