The use of antiferromagnetic (AFM) materials as active layer in spintronic devices has recently been demonstrated through the phenomenon of tunnel anisotropic magnetoresistance (TAMR). Materials with antiferromagnetic order generate no stray fields, are robust against external perturbations and exhibit ultra-fast magnetization dynamics, features that arouse interest in an AFM-based spintronics. The insensitivity of AFMs to external magnetic fields, however, makes their manipulation difficult. Magnetic, structural (strain), electrical and optical methods have been proposed to control the orientation of spins in AFM materials. In this project, we will give emphasis to cobalt monoxide (CoO), a promising AFM material for TAMR due to its high magnetic anisotropy, Neel temperature close to room temperature and strong dependence of the electronic and spin structure with the crystalline structure, which opens the possibility to control its magneto-crystalline anisotropy through structural deformations. We propose to study structural, electronic and magnetic properties of AFM thin films grown on flexible substrates and subjected to controlled structural deformations through in-situ studies of X-ray diffraction and X-ray absorption spectroscopy using synchrotron light.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: