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Magnetic anisotropy by Rashba spin-orbit coupling in antiferromagnetic thin films

Ieda, Junichi ; Barnes, S. E.*; Maekawa, Sadamichi

Magnetic anisotropy in an antiferromagnet (AFM) with inversion symmetry breaking (ISB) is investigated. The magnetic anisotropy energy (MAE) resulting from the Rashba spin-orbit and $$s$$-$$d$$ type exchange interactions is determined for two different models of AFMs. The global ISB model, representing the effect of a surface, an interface, or a gating electric field, results in an easy-plane magnetic anisotropy. In contrast, for a local ISB model, i.e., for a noncentrosymmetric AFM, perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA) arises. Both results differ from the ferromagnetic case, in which the result for PMA depends on the band structure and dimensionality. These MAE contributions play a key role in determining the direction of the N$'{e}$el order parameter in antiferromagnetic nanostructures, and reflect the possibility of electrical-field control of the N$'{e}$el vector.

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Category:Physics, Multidisciplinary

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