Defect-driven antiferromagnetic domain walls in CuMnAs films

Sonka Reimers, Dominik Kriegner, Olena Gomonay, Dina Carbone, Filip Krizek, Vit Novák, Richard P. Campion, Francesco Maccherozzi, Alexander Björling, Oliver J. Amin, Luke X. Barton, Stuart F. Poole, Khalid A. Omari, Jan Michalička, Ondřej Man, Jairo Sinova, Tomáš Jungwirth, Peter Wadley, Sarnjeet S. Dhesi, Kevin W. Edmonds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Efficient manipulation of antiferromagnetic (AF) domains and domain walls has opened up new avenues of research towards ultrafast, high-density spintronic devices. AF domain structures are known to be sensitive to magnetoelastic effects, but the microscopic interplay of crystalline defects, strain and magnetic ordering remains largely unknown. Here, we reveal, using photoemission electron microscopy combined with scanning X-ray diffraction imaging and micromagnetic simulations, that the AF domain structure in CuMnAs thin films is dominated by nanoscale structural twin defects. We demonstrate that microtwin defects, which develop across the entire thickness of the film and terminate on the surface as characteristic lines, determine the location and orientation of 180 and 90 domain walls. The results emphasize the crucial role of nanoscale crystalline defects in determining the AF domains and domain walls, and provide a route to optimizing device performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number724
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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