Unconventional flexomagnetism in chromium oxide thin films

Image adapted from Nat Commun 13, 6745 (2022). Published on November 08, 2022 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-34233-5

Scanning NV Magnetometry enabled the team led by Dr. Denys Makarov (Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf e.V.) to reveal unconventional flexomagnetism in thin films of antiferromagnetic Cr2O3.  

The inhomogeneous strain applied to very thin films of Cr2O3 induces an unusually strong vertical gradient on the Neel temperature.  Due to this gradient, the inner regions of the film lose their antiferromagnetic order at higher temperatures with respect to the surface.

Therefore, only techniques sensitive to the interior of the film would be able to correctly assess the Neel temperature. This is the case for Scanning NV Magnetometry . It detects stray magnetic fields that penetrate the outside of the film from its interior and “carry along” the information about the preserved order.

With Scanning NV Magnetometry, the Neel temperature was inferred following the temperature evolution of the antiferromagnetic domain pattern. The results very nicely show the power of Scanning NV magnetometry in answering challenging questions in antiferromagnetic spintronics.

Read the full article in Nature Communications

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