Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Magnetic Moments and Electron Transport through Chromium-based Antiferromagnetic Nanojunctions

Version 1 : Received: 31 August 2018 / Approved: 31 August 2018 / Online: 31 August 2018 (15:55:42 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Bragato, M.; Achilli, S.; Cargnoni, F.; Ceresoli, D.; Martinazzo, R.; Soave, R.; Trioni, M.I. Magnetic Moments and Electron Transport through Chromium-Based Antiferromagnetic Nanojunctions. Materials 2018, 11, 2030. Bragato, M.; Achilli, S.; Cargnoni, F.; Ceresoli, D.; Martinazzo, R.; Soave, R.; Trioni, M.I. Magnetic Moments and Electron Transport through Chromium-Based Antiferromagnetic Nanojunctions. Materials 2018, 11, 2030.

Journal reference: Materials 2018, 11, 2030
DOI: 10.3390/ma11102030

Abstract

We report the electronic, magnetic and transport properties of a prototypical antiferromagnetic (AFM) spintronic device. We chose Cr as the active layer because it is the only room-temperature AFM elemental metal. We sandwiched Cr between two non-magnetic metals (Pt or Au) with large spin-orbit coupling. We also inserted a buffer layer of insulating MgO to mimic the structure and finite resistivity of a real device. We found that, while spin-orbit has a negligible effect on the current flowing through the device, the MgO layer plays a crucial role. Its effect is to decouple the Cr magnetic moment from Pt (or Au) and to develop an overall spin magnetization. We have also calculated the spin-polarized ballistic conductance of the device within the Büttiker-Landauer framework, and we have found that for small applied bias our Pt/Cr/MgO/Pt device presents a spin polarization of the current amounting to ~25%.

Subject Areas

antiferromagnetism; spintronics; electronic transport; DFT; ab initio calculations

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