Multi-stimuli manipulation of antiferromagnetic domains assessed by second-harmonic imaging

Jean-Yves Chauleau 1 Eloi Haltz 1 C. Carretero 2 S. Fusil 2 Michel Viret 1, *
* Corresponding author
1 LNO - Laboratoire Nano-Magnétisme et Oxydes
SPEC - UMR3680 - Service de physique de l'état condensé, IRAMIS - Institut Rayonnement Matière de Saclay
Abstract : Among the variety of magnetic textures available in nature, antiferromagnetism is one of the most 'discrete' because of the exact cancellation of its staggered internal magnetization. It is therefore very challenging to probe. However, its insensitivity to external magnetic perturbations, together with the intrinsic sub-picosecond dynamics, make it very appealing for tomorrow's information technologies . Thus, it is essential to understand the microscopic mechanisms governing antiferromagnetic domains to achieve accurate manipulation and control. Using optical second-harmonic generation , a unique and laboratory-available tool , we succeeded in imaging with sub-micrometre resolution both electric and antiferromagnetic orders in the model multiferroic BiFeO$_3$. We show here that antiferromagnetic domains can be manipulated with low power consumption, using sub-coercive electric fields and sub-picosecond light pulses. Interestingly, we also show that antiferromagnetic and ferroelectric domains can behave independently, thus revealing that magneto-electric coupling can lead to various arrangements of the two orders.
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Jean-Yves Chauleau, Eloi Haltz, C. Carretero, S. Fusil, Michel Viret. Multi-stimuli manipulation of antiferromagnetic domains assessed by second-harmonic imaging. Nature Materials, Nature Publishing Group, 2017, 16, pp.803 - 807. ⟨10.1063/1.3036526⟩. ⟨cea-01591363⟩

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