Antiferromagnetic THz-frequency Josephson-like Oscillator Driven by Spin Current


The development of compact and tunable room temperature sources of coherent THz-frequency signals would open a way for numerous new applications. The existing approaches to THz-frequency generation based on superconductor Josephson junctions (JJ), free electron lasers, and quantum cascades require cryogenic temperatures or/and complex setups, preventing the miniaturization and wide use of these devices. We demonstrate theoretically that a bi-layer of a heavy metal (Pt) and a bi-axial antiferromagnetic (AFM) dielectric (NiO) can be a source of a coherent THz signal. A spin-current flowing from a DC-current-driven Pt layer and polarized along the hard AFM anisotropy axis excites a non-uniform in time precession of magnetizations sublattices in the AFM, due to the presence of a weak easy-plane AFM anisotropy. The frequency of the AFM oscillations varies in the range of 0.1–2.0 THz with the driving current in the Pt layer from $10^8 \text{A}/\text{cm}^2$ to $10^9 \text{A}/\text{cm}^2$. The THz-frequency signal from the AFM with the amplitude exceeding $1 \text{V}/\text{cm}$ is picked up by the inverse spin-Hall effect in Pt. The operation of a room-temperature AFM THz-frequency oscillator is similar to that of a cryogenic JJ oscillator, with the energy of the easy-plane magnetic anisotropy playing the role of the Josephson energy.

Scientific Reports vol. 7 issue: 1 article number: 43705
Ivan Lisenkov
Ivan Lisenkov
Research Data Scientist