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Sci Adv. 2018 Mar 23;4(3):eaar3566. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aar3566. eCollection 2018 Mar.

Terahertz electrical writing speed in an antiferromagnetic memory.

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Institute of Physics, Czech Academy of Sciences, Cukrovarnická 10, 162 00 Praha 6, Czech Republic.
Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society, Faradayweg 4-6, 14195 Berlin, Germany.
Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University, Ke Karlovu 3, 121 16 Prague 2, Czech Republic.
School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK.
Department of Materials, ETH Zürich, Hönggerbergring 64, CH-8093 Zürich, Switzerland.
Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory, J. J. Thomson Avenue, Cambridge CB3 0HE, UK.
Institut für Physik, Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz, 55128 Mainz, Germany.
Institute of Physics, Czech Academy of Sciences, Na Slovance 2, 182 21 Praha 8, Czech Republic.
Department of Physics, Freie Universität Berlin, Arnimallee 14, 14195 Berlin, Germany.


The speed of writing of state-of-the-art ferromagnetic memories is physically limited by an intrinsic gigahertz threshold. Recently, realization of memory devices based on antiferromagnets, in which spin directions periodically alternate from one atomic lattice site to the next has moved research in an alternative direction. We experimentally demonstrate at room temperature that the speed of reversible electrical writing in a memory device can be scaled up to terahertz using an antiferromagnet. A current-induced spin-torque mechanism is responsible for the switching in our memory devices throughout the 12-order-of-magnitude range of writing speeds from hertz to terahertz. Our work opens the path toward the development of memory-logic technology reaching the elusive terahertz band.

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