Electrical control of antiferromagnetic thin films

‘Interesting but useless.’ This is how the Nobel laureate Louis Néel concluded the prospects of antiferromagnetic materials based on his pioneering work in 1970s. The main reason for this is that the antiferromagnets are immune to external magnetic fields. In the past 3 years, based on the extensive efforts to achieve electrical control of ferromagnets, similar concepts are now being developed employing spin-orbit torques in antiferromagnets. An adjacent heavy metal is often used to produce the spin-orbit torques to inject pure spin current into the antiferromagnet.


The aim of this project is to identify the mechanisms responsible for the electrical control of thin antiferromagnetic films using different metallic films in antiferromagnet/metal bilayers.


  • State-of-the-art cleanroom preparation of the samples using electron-beam lithography
  • Characterization and electrical switching of the devices using x-ray diffractometry and a fast-electrical setup

NUM laboratory: Laboratory for Multiscale Materials Experiments LMX

Contact person: Mr. Zhentao Liu, email, phone: +41-56-310-3078

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