The exchange coupling underlies ferroic magnetic coupling and is thus the key element that governs statics and dynamics of magnetic systems. This fundamental interaction comes in two flavors - symmetric and antisymmetric coupling. While symmetric coupling leads to ferro- and antiferromagnetism, antisymmetric coupling has attracted significant interest owing to its major role in promoting topologically non-trivial spin textures that promise high-speed and energy-efficient devices. So far, the antisymmetric exchange coupling rather short-ranged and limited to a single magnetic layer has been demonstrated, while the symmetric coupling also leads to long-range interlayer exchange coupling. Here, we report the missing component of the long-range antisymmetric interlayer exchange coupling in perpendicularly magnetized synthetic antiferromagnets with parallel and antiparallel magnetization alignments. Asymmetric hysteresis loops under an in-plane field unambiguously reveal a unidirectional and chiral nature of this novel interaction, which cannot be accounted for by existing coupling mechanisms, resulting in canted magnetization alignments. This can be explained by spin-orbit coupling combined with reduced symmetry in multilayers. This new class of chiral interaction provides an additional degree of freedom for engineering magnetic structures and promises to enable a new class of three-dimensional topological structures.
|Number of pages||21|
|Journal||arXiv.org, e-Print Archive, Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 4 Sep 2018|