A piezoelectric, strain-controlled antiferromagnetic memory insensitive to magnetic fields

Han Yan, Zexin Feng, Shunli Shang, Xiaoning Wang, Zexiang Hu, Jinhua Wang, Zengwei Zhu, Hui Wang, Zuhuang Chen, Hui Hua, Wenkuo Lu, Jingmin Wang, Peixin Qin, Huixin Guo, Xiaorong Zhou, Zhaoguogang Leng, Zikui Liu, Chengbao Jiang, Michael Coey, Zhiqi Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

147 Scopus citations


Spintronic devices based on antiferromagnetic (AFM) materials hold the promise of fast switching speeds and robustness against magnetic fields1–3. Different device concepts have been predicted4,5 and experimentally demonstrated, such as low-temperature AFM tunnel junctions that operate as spin-valves6, or room-temperature AFM memory, for which either thermal heating in combination with magnetic fields7 or Néel spin–orbit torque8 is used for the information writing process. On the other hand, piezoelectric materials were employed to control magnetism by electric fields in multiferroic heterostructures9–12, which suppresses Joule heating caused by switching currents and may enable low-energy-consuming electronic devices. Here, we combine the two material classes to explore changes in the resistance of the high-Néel-temperature antiferromagnet MnPt induced by piezoelectric strain. We find two non-volatile resistance states at room temperature and zero electric field that are stable in magnetic fields up to 60 T. Furthermore, the strain-induced resistance switching process is insensitive to magnetic fields. Integration in a tunnel junction can further amplify the electroresistance. The tunnelling anisotropic magnetoresistance reaches ~11.2% at room temperature. Overall, we demonstrate a piezoelectric, strain-controlled AFM memory that is fully operational in strong magnetic fields and has the potential for low-energy and high-density memory applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-136
Number of pages6
JournalNature nanotechnology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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