The world of technology has undergone major developments. Scientists and engineers are striving consistently to improve different devices and their system-level reliability. The adoption of antiferromagnetic materials is considered as an important move forward in that direction.

Researchers and scientists for decades have identified anti-ferromagnetic materials. However, it is only recently that it got the attention it deserves. Nobel laureate Louis Néel concluded in his research the prospects of antiferromagnetic materials. The reason why antiferromagnetic materials are considered better than silicon components because they are immune to external magnetic fields.

What are antiferromagnetic materials?

Antiferromagnetic materials improve the way information is written and read electrically in devices. They are microscopic magnets with opposite orientations. Computers nowadays use Silicon components, but they fail to be as efficient as antiferromagnetic materials.

Naturally occurring magnets have different types of magnetism potential. Their magnetism is based on two main factors. First, the magnitude of the magnetic material moment and second is the direction that determines the torque experienced by the magnet from the external magnetic field. On the basis of this characterization, magnets are differentiated from each other.

Anti-ferromagnetic materials are like ferromagnets, but their magnetic moments are anti-parallel to the neighboring moments. This alignment takes place spontaneously below the critical temperature, which is also known as Neel Temperature.

This material can correlate the change in the magnetic structure and can herald ultra-fast computer logic systems. There are several other possibilities as well, such as credit cards that cannot be erased using external magnetic fields.

The magnetism of an anti-ferromagnetic material gets aligned spontaneously when a magnetic field is applied and that too, at a temperature below the critical level. When the external field is removed the material eventually retains its anti-parallel alignment.

How anti-ferromagnetism is important

Anti-ferromagnetic materials align themselves at relatively low temperatures into antiparallel or opposite arrangements throughout the material and exhibit no gross external magnetism. Anti-ferromagnetic material includes alloys and metals in addition to certain ionic solids.

When the magnetic field is strong, the antiferromagnetic material gets weakly magnetized in the direction of the field. This property of the material is called anti-ferromagnetism.

In simple words, the magnetic force (magnetization) inside the anti-ferromagnetic material is always zerodue to its internal cancellation of magnetism.

However, this behavior can be altered by applying a specific amount of heat to the material. The critical temperature at which the anti-ferromagnetic material converts into paramagnetic material is called Neel’s temperature.

Anti-ferromagnetic material can exhibit a special kind of behavior when they are subjected to magnetic fields depending upon the temperature. When the anti-ferromagnetic materials are placed in low temperatures, they exhibit no special response to the external field due to the antiparallel ordering of atomic magnets. At high temperatures, atoms break free of the order and align with the external field.

This material is one of the most interesting elements to be found in nature. Growing researches have shown that anti-ferromagnetic material is known for having superconductivity. This material has the ability to behave like both ferromagnets and anti-ferromagnets.

The corresponding magnetic and structural properties resemble the metal-insulator. As a consequence, there is a major change in the conductivity level when the field is applied. Since the majority ofthe nonmetallic superconductors are in their antiferromagnetic phase, researches continue to test whether antiferromagnets have higher levels of superconductivity.

Importance of film thickness of an antiferromagnetic material

As mentioned earlier, an antiferromagnetic material exists in low temperature and can only be transformed into a para-magnetic material when an external magnetic field or heat is applied. If the antiferromagnetic material is thick, the reaction will not be as fast as it should have been.Therefore, having a thin film will ensure a smooth transition between magnetization and de-magnetization.

Harry (Hardayal) Gill, a well-established engineer from the University of Minnesota, has been working in the Design Engineering field for over four decades. Having worked for some of the tech giants such as Hewlett Packard, IBM Corporation, Hitachi, makes him the perfect source of information and insights.

His experience and skills make him a visionary in the field with an adept appreciation for technology and how he can contribute more. As one of the most prominent and powerful voices in the tech industry, he uses his unparalleled skills in enlightening others with knowledge.