2nd Japan-EU Open Workshop on Heusler Alloy Replacement for Iridium

Institute for Materials ResearchInvitation

The partners in the HARFIR research project are pleased to announce that the 2nd Japan-EU Open Workshop on Heusler Alloy Replacement for Iridium (‘HARFIR’) will take place on Friday, 12th September 2014 at the Institute for Materials Research in Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan. All interested parties are invited to attend.


The purpose of the HARFIR project is to develop rare metal-free antiferromagnetic Heusler alloy films to replace antiferromagnetic IrMn films which have been widely used in spintronic devices including read heads in hard disk drives. Ir-free antiferromagnetic Heusler alloy films consisting only of ubiquitous elements will be developed by joint collaboration among the researchers from laboratories in Japan and the European Union, leading to the reduction of Ir consumption.

This Open Workshop intends to provide current understanding of the exchange bias from the viewpoint of both theoretical and experimental aspects. From the project members, recent progress for the investigation of antiferromagnetic Heusler alloy films will be reported. In addition, three experts from outside the project have been invited to present their latest research topics relating to either exchange bias or Heusler compounds.
This workshop offers an opportunity for European and Japanese researchers, including students and postdocs, to access the latest research topics and to discuss their results with the world-leaders, and encourage future collaborations.


Koki Takanashi (Japanese coordinator)
Atsufumi Hirohata (EU coordinator)
Nigel Mackintosh (Project manager)


Morning session (chair:Takanashi)

8:20Registration opens
9:00WelcomeK. Takanashi (Tohoku)
9:10Opening remarksK. Kuroda (Waseda / JST)
9:20Outline of HARFIR projectA. Hirohata (York)
9:40Polycrystalline Heusler alloy films for spintronic devicesK. O’Grady (York)
10:10Structural and magnetic properties of epitaxially grown antiferromagnetic Heusler alloy thin filmsK. Takanashi (Tohoku)
10:40Coffee break
11:10Tracing of Antiferromagnetism with Lichtenstein methodS. Khmelevskyi (Budapest)
11:40X-ray and neutron analysis of Heusler alloysK. Ono (KEK)

Afternoon session (chair: Hirohata)

13:30Electrical and magnetic properties of tunnel junctionsG. Reiss (Bielefeld)
14:00Invited talk 1: Exchange bias and spin structure in Mn-Ir/Fe-Co-Ni bilayersM. Tsunoda (Tohoku)
14:30Coffee break
15:00Invited talk 2: First-principles study on electric-field modulation of interfacial magnetic anisotropyM. Shirai (Tohoku)
15:30Invited talk 3: Spin injection for Co2FeAl0.5Si0.5/GaAs junctionsN. Tezuka (Tohoku)
16:00ClosingK. O’Grady (York)


There is no charge for attendance at the workshop, but participants must make their own travel and accommodation arrangements. Official registration will take place at the Workshop.

The closest major airport is Narita Airport.

The following hotels are close to IMR and are being used by workshop participants:

The workshop will be held in the “Lecture room” in IMR Bldg. 2. Maps & Directions to IMR are available here: http://www.imr.tohoku.ac.jp/en/access.html

Enquiries about the Workshop should be addressed to Dr Takahide Kubota at the Institute for Materials Research (tkubota@nullimr.tohoku.ac.jp) or Dr Nigel Mackintosh at Mackintosh Consultants (nigelm@nullharfir.eu).

About the HARFIR project

The HARFIR project intends to develop antiferromagnetic Heusler alloy films to replace the antiferromagnetic alloy IrMn. It is widely recognised that spin electronic technologies will displace volatile semiconductor memory technology within the next decade. Therefore the lack of availability of one crucial element is a critical issue to be solved urgently.

We therefore aim to reduce the cost of an antiferromagnetic film by a factor of 10 as compared with the current IrMn. We will combine our expertise in ab initio calculations and Heusler alloy film growth techniques to seek a highly anisotropic films. These films will be characterised both structurally and magnetically using synchrotron beamlines, high-resolution (scanning) transmission electron microscopy and highly sensitive electrical and magnetic measurement facilities available within the consortium.

We will demonstrate a device concept with the developed films at the end of this project, showing an exchange bias larger than 1 kOe in sheet form and a blocking temperature above 300K.

Project website: http://www.harfir.eu/