There is accelerating interest in developing memory devices using antiferromagnetic (AFM) materials, motivated by the possibility for electrically controlling AFM order via spin-orbit torques, and its read-out via magnetoresistive effects. Recent studies have shown, however, that high current densities create non-magnetic contributions to resistive switching signals in AFM/heavy metal (AFM/HM) bilayers, complicating their interpretation. Here we introduce an experimental protocol to unambiguously distinguish current-induced magnetic and nonmagnetic switching signals in AFM/HM structures, and demonstrate it in IrMn3/Pt devices. A six-terminal double-cross device is constructed, with an IrMn3 pillar placed on one cross. The differential voltage is measured between the two crosses with and without IrMn3 after each switching attempt. For a wide range of current densities, reversible switching is observed only when write currents pass through the cross with the IrMn3 pillar, eliminating any possibility of non-magnetic switching artifacts. Micromagnetic simulations support our findings, indicating a complex domain-mediated switching process.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)