Electric current control of spin helicity in an itinerant helimagnet.
ABSTRACT: A helimagnet is a chiral magnet in which the direction of the magnetic moment spatially rotates in a plane perpendicular to the propagation vector. The sense of the rotation known as spin helicity is a robust degree of freedom of matter and may provide a new concept of magnetic memory if it can be electrically controlled and detected. Here we show that the helicity can be controlled by magnetic fields and electric currents in an itinerant helimagnet MnP. Second-harmonic resistivity measurements allow us to read out the controlled helicity. In contract to an insulating multiferroic magnet, in which spin rotation was shown to be controllable by an electric field, we achieve helicity manipulation by using an electric current in the conducting helimagnet. The controllability of the spin helicity may pave the way to new method of realizing magnetic memories based on the spin internal degrees of freedom.
Project description:The control of physical properties by external fields is essential in many contemporary technologies. For example, conductance can be controlled by a gate electric field in a field effect transistor, which is a main component of integrated circuits. Optical phenomena induced by an electric field such as electroluminescence and electrochromism are useful for display and other technologies. Control of microwave propagation is also important for future wireless communication technology. Microwave properties in solids are dominated mostly by magnetic excitations, which cannot be easily controlled by an electric field. One solution to this problem is to use magnetically induced ferroelectrics (multiferroics). Here we show that microwave nonreciprocity, that is, different refractive indices for microwaves propagating in opposite directions, could be reversed by an external electric field in a multiferroic helimagnet Ba2Mg2Fe12O22. This approach offers an avenue for the electrical control of microwave properties.
Project description:We study the directional excitation of optical surface waves controlled by the magnetic field of light. We theoretically predict that a spinning magnetic dipole develops a tunable unidirectional coupling of light to transverse electric (TE) polarized Bloch surface waves (BSWs). Experimentally, we show that the helicity of light projected onto a subwavelength groove milled into the top layer of a 1D photonic crystal (PC) controls the power distribution between two TE-polarized BSWs excited on both sides of the groove. Such a phenomenon is shown to be solely mediated by the helicity of the magnetic optical field, thus revealing a magnetic spin-orbit interaction of light. Remarkably, this magnetic optical effect is clearly observed via a near-field coupler governed by an electric dipole moment: it is of the same order of magnitude as the electric optical effects involved in the coupling. This opens up new degrees of freedom for the manipulation of light and offers desirable and novel opportunities for the development of integrated optical functionalities.
Project description:Thermal current is rectified in a multiferroic helimagnet. Breaking of spatial inversion symmetry induces unique phenomena in condensed matter. In particular, by combining this symmetry with magnetic fields or another type of time-reversal symmetry breaking, noncentrosymmetric materials can be made to exhibit nonreciprocal responses, which are responses that differ for rightward and leftward stimuli. However, the effect of spatial inversion symmetry breaking on thermal transport in uniform media remains to be elucidated. Here, we show nonreciprocal thermal transport in the multiferroic helimagnet TbMnO3. The longitudinal thermal conductivity depends on whether the thermal current is parallel or antiparallel to the vector product of the electric polarization and magnetization. This phenomenon is thermal rectification that is controllable with external fields in a uniform crystal. This discovery may pave the way to thermal diodes with controllability and scalability.
Project description:Recently, cold atomic Fermi gases with the large magnetic dipolar interaction have been laser cooled down to quantum degeneracy. Different from electric-dipoles which are classic vectors, atomic magnetic dipoles are quantum-mechanical matrix operators proportional to the hyperfine-spin of atoms, thus provide rich opportunities to investigate exotic many-body physics. Furthermore, unlike anisotropic electric dipolar gases, unpolarized magnetic dipolar systems are isotropic under simultaneous spin-orbit rotation. These features give rise to a robust mechanism for a novel pairing symmetry: orbital p-wave (L = 1) spin triplet (S = 1) pairing with total angular momentum of the Cooper pair J = 1. This pairing is markedly different from both the (3)He-B phase in which J = 0 and the (3)He-A phase in which J is not conserved. It is also different from the p-wave pairing in the single-component electric dipolar systems in which the spin degree of freedom is frozen.
Project description:Cr1/3NbS2 is a unique example of a hexagonal chiral helimagnet with high crystalline anisotropy, and has generated growing interest for a possible magnetic field control of the incommensurate spin spiral. Here, we construct a comprehensive phase diagram based on detailed magnetization measurements of a high quality single crystal of Cr1/3NbS2 over three magnetic field regions. An analysis of the critical properties in the forced ferromagnetic region yields 3D Heisenberg exponents ??=?0.3460?±?0.040, ??=?1.344?±?0.002, and T C?=?130.78?K?±?0.044, which are consistent with the localized nature the of Cr3+ moments and suggest short-range ferromagnetic interactions. We exploit the temperature and magnetic field dependence of magnetic entropy change (?S M) to accurately map the nonlinear crossover to the chiral soliton lattice regime from the chiral helimagnetic phase. Our observations in the low field region are consistent with the existence of chiral ordering in a temperature range above the Curie temperature, T C?<?T?<?T*, where a first-order transition has been previously predicted. An analysis of the universal behavior of ?S M(T,H) experimentally demonstrates for the first time the first-order nature of the onset of chiral ordering.
Project description:Atomically thin monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides possess coupling of spin and valley degrees of freedom. The chirality is locked to identical valleys as a consequence of spin-orbit coupling and inversion symmetry breaking, leading to a valley analog of the Zeeman effect in presence of an out-of-plane magnetic field. Owing to the inversion symmetry in bilayers, the photoluminescence helicity should no longer be locked to the valleys. Here we show that the Zeeman splitting, however, persists in 2H-MoTe2 bilayers, as a result of an additional degree of freedom, namely the layer pseudospin, and spin-valley-layer locking. Unlike monolayers, the Zeeman splitting in bilayers occurs without lifting valley degeneracy. The degree of circularly polarized photoluminescence is tuned with magnetic field from -37% to 37%. Our results demonstrate the control of degree of freedom in bilayer with magnetic field, which makes bilayer a promising platform for spin-valley quantum gates based on magnetoelectric effects.Monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides host a valley splitting in magnetic field analogous to the Zeeman effect. Here, the authors report that the Zeeman splitting still persists in bilayers of MoTe2 without lifting the valley degeneracy, due to spin-valley-layer coupling.
Project description:Despite remarkable progress in developing multifunctional materials, spin-driven ferroelectrics featuring both spontaneous magnetization and electric polarization are still rare. Among such ferromagnetic ferroelectrics are conical spin spiral magnets with a simultaneous reversal of magnetization and electric polarization that is still little understood. Such materials can feature various multiferroic domains that complicates their study. Here we study the multiferroic domains in ferromagnetic ferroelectric Mn2GeO4 using neutron diffraction, and show that it features a double-Q conical magnetic structure that, apart from trivial 180o commensurate magnetic domains, can be described by ferromagnetic and ferroelectric domains only. We show unconventional magnetoelectric couplings such as the magnetic-field-driven reversal of ferroelectric polarization with no change of spin-helicity, and present a phenomenological theory that successfully explains the magnetoelectric coupling. Our measurements establish Mn2GeO4 as a conceptually simple multiferroic in which the magnetic-field-driven flop of conical spin spirals leads to the simultaneous reversal of magnetization and electric polarization.
Project description:The control of the magnetism of ultra-thin ferromagnetic layers using an electric field, rather than a current, has many potential technologically important applications. It is usually insisted that such control occurs via an electric field induced surface charge doping that modifies the magnetic anisotropy. However, it remains the case that a number of key experiments cannot be understood within such a scenario. Much studied is the spin-splitting of the conduction electrons of non-magnetic metals or semi-conductors due to the Rashba spin-orbit coupling. This reflects a large surface electric field. For a magnet, this same splitting is modified by the exchange field resulting in a large magnetic anisotropy energy via the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya mechanism. This different, yet traditional, path to an electrically induced anisotropy energy can explain the electric field, thickness, and material dependence reported in many experiments.
Project description:Chirality is a geometrical property by which an object is not superimposable onto its mirror image, thereby imparting a handedness. Chirality determines many important properties in nature-from the strength of the weak interactions according to the electroweak theory in particle physics to the binding of enzymes with naturally occurring amino acids or sugars, reactions that are fundamental for life. In condensed matter physics, the prediction of topologically protected magnetic skyrmions and related spin textures in chiral magnets has stimulated significant research. If the magnetic dipoles were replaced by their electrical counterparts, then electrically controllable chiral devices could be designed. Complex oxide BaTiO3/SrTiO3 nanocomposites and PbTiO3/SrTiO3 superlattices are perfect candidates, since "polar vortices," in which a continuous rotation of ferroelectric polarization spontaneously forms, have been recently discovered. Using resonant soft X-ray diffraction, we report the observation of a strong circular dichroism from the interaction between circularly polarized light and the chiral electric polarization texture that emerges in PbTiO3/SrTiO3 superlattices. This hallmark of chirality is explained by a helical rotation of electric polarization that second-principles simulations predict to reside within complex 3D polarization textures comprising ordered topological line defects. The handedness of the texture can be topologically characterized by the sign of the helicity number of the chiral line defects. This coupling between the optical and novel polar properties could be exploited to encode chiral signatures into photon or electron beams for information processing.
Project description:The transverse Ising magnet Hamiltonian describing the Ising chain in a transverse magnetic field is the archetypal example of a system that undergoes a transition at a quantum critical point (QCP). The columbite CoNb2O6 is the closest realization of the transverse Ising magnet found to date. At low temperatures, neutron diffraction has observed a set of discrete collective spin modes near the QCP. Here, we ask if there are low-lying spin excitations distinct from these relatively high-energy modes. Using the heat capacity, we show that a significant band of gapless spin excitations exists. At the QCP, their spin entropy rises to a prominent peak that accounts for 30% of the total spin degrees of freedom. In a narrow field interval below the QCP, the gapless excitations display a fermion-like, temperature-linear heat capacity below 1 K. These novel gapless modes are the main spin excitations participating in, and affected by, the quantum transition.