Science Advances

Heusler-based synthetic antiferrimagnets

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Antiferromagnet spintronic devices eliminate or mitigate long-range dipolar fields, thereby promising ultrafast operation. For spin transport electronics, one of the most successful strategies is the creation of metallic synthetic antiferromagnets, which, to date, have largely been formed from transition metals and their alloys. Here, we show that synthetic antiferrimagnetic sandwiches can be formed using exchange coupling spacer layers composed of atomically ordered RuAl layers and ultrathin, perpendicularly magnetized, tetragonal ferrimagnetic Heusler layers. Chemically ordered RuAl layers can both be grown on top of a Heusler layer and allow for the growth of ordered Heusler layers deposited on top of it that are as thin as one unit cell. The RuAl spacer layer gives rise to a thickness-dependent oscillatory interlayer coupling with an oscillation period of ~1.1 nm. The observation of ultrathin ordered synthetic antiferrimagnets substantially expands the family of synthetic antiferromagnets and magnetic compounds for spintronic technologies.