|Real-space imaging of non-collinear antiferromagnetic order with a single-spin magnetometer |
Auteur(s): Gross I., Akhtar W., Garcia V., Martinez L. j., Chouaieb S., Garcia K., Carretero C., Barthélémy A., Appel P., Maletinsky P., Kim J. -v., Chauleau J. y., Jaouen N., Viret M., Bibes M., Fusil S., Jacques V.
Ref HAL: hal-01632358_v1
Exporter : BibTex | endNote
Although ferromagnets have many applications, their large magnetization and the resulting energy cost for switching magnetic moments bring into question their suitability for reliable low-power spintronic devices. Non-collinear antiferromagnetic systems do not suffer from this problem, and often have extra functionalities: non-collinear spin order may break space- inversion symmetry and thus allow electric-field control of magnetism or may produce emergent spin–orbit effects that enable efficient spin–charge interconversion. To harness these traits for next-generation spintronics, the nanoscale control and imaging capabilities that are now routine for ferromagnets must be developed for antiferromagnetic systems. Here, using a non-invasive, scanning single-spin magnetometer based on a nitrogen–vacancy defect in diamond, we demonstrate real- space visualization of non-collinear antiferromagnetic order in a magnetic thin film at room temperature. We image the spin cycloid of a multiferroic bismuth ferrite (BiFeO3) thin film and extract a period of about 70 nanometres, consistent with values determined by macroscopic diffraction. In addition, we take advantage of the magnetoelectric coupling present in BiFeO$_3$ to manipulate the cycloid propagation direction by an electric field. Besides highlighting the potential of nitrogen–vacancy magnetometry for imaging complex antiferromagnetic orders at the nanoscale, these results demonstrate how BiFeO$_3$ can be used in the design of reconfigurable nanoscale spin textures.