Imaging of Antiferromagnetic Domains by Using Magneto-Optical Birefringence Effect
Microscopy Technique: An Overview
Department of Physics, School of Natural Sciences, Shiv Nadar Institution of Eminence, Tehsil Dadri, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Uttar Pradesh, India
*Corresponding Author: Sucheta Mondal, Department of Physics, School of Natural Sciences, Shiv Nadar Institution of Eminence, Tehsil Dadri, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Uttar Pradesh, India.
May 17, 2023; Published: May 31, 2023
The emerging field of ‘Antiferromagnetic Spintronics’ is one of the most promising contenders for the next-generation information storage and processing applications. Antiferromagnets are immune to the external magnetic field of magnitude up to few Tesla! They have high exchange anisotropy and zero dipolar field. These characteristics promote them as suitable candidates for designing denser, faster, and energy-efficient spintronic devices. To integrate antiferromagnetic components inside an on-chip microelectronic circuitry it is important to manipulate the magnetic states with small charge current. However, when it comes to the detection, zero dipole moment makes them irresponsive to the conventional magnetometry measurements. It requires probing with state-of-the- art facilities which is not accessible to everyone. Thus, it is difficult to establish the connection between the electric current driven spin-transport behavior and the domain modification without capturing the inside picture simultaneously. In this mini-review, a brief history of antiferromagnetic switching and the recent conflicts on the all-electrical manipulation of Neel vector are discussed. This is followed by an overview of the magneto-optical birefringence effect microscopy technique and its implementation for validating electrical switching with optical imaging. This article aims to provide the readers a broader idea about an unambiguous and powerful technique to visualize the enigmatic antiferromagnetic domains on the table top of a laboratory.
Keywords: Antiferromagnet; Magneto-optical Birefringence Effect; Neel Vector; Polarization; Anisotropy; Antiferromagnetic
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