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Exploring antiferromagnetic order at the nanoscale with a single spin microscope

Project description

Diamond quantum microscope probes antiferromagnetism at the nanoscale

Antiferromagnetic spintronics refers to a relatively unused class of magnetic materials that have the potential to create memory elements faster and with higher storage capacity than conventional electronics. Capitalising on the potential of a next-generation scanning probe microscope that utilises a nitrogen-vacancy centre (a lattice defect in diamond) as an atomic size magnetic field sensor, the mission of the EU-funded EXAFONIS project is twofold: First, it will conduct a thorough analysis of the microscopic mechanisms that control antiferromagnetic materials. Second, given that skyrmions are important topological objects in spintronics, the project aims at demonstrating efficient manipulation of magnetic skyrmions in antiferromagnets. The project's results will contribute to unlock the potential of antiferromagnetic materials for future applications in spintronics.


EXAFONIS objectives venture into the emerging field of antiferromagnetic (AF) spintronics. By exploiting the unique performances offered by scanning NV-magnetometry, two major objectives will be pursued. The first objective aims at providing a comprehensive and thorough analysis of the microscopic mechanisms at the origin of AF manipulation when subjected to different external stimuli, including strain, electric fields and spin-polarized currents. Such studies still remain an almost uncharted research territory, despite highly-valuable promises of antiferromagnets for future spintronics devices providing fast, low-consumption and high-density storage capabilities. The second objective aims at demonstrating the first detection and efficient manipulation of magnetic skyrmions in an antiferromagnet. As such, EXAFONIS will pioneer the field of topological antiferromagnetic spintronics.


Net EU contribution
€ 1 675 037,00
Rue michel ange 3
75794 Paris

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Ile-de-France Ile-de-France Paris
Activity type
Research Organisations
Other funding
€ 0,00

Beneficiaries (1)