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Many-body physics of single and double spin-flip excitations in NiO

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.124.067202 DOI Help

Authors: A. Nag (Diamond Light Source) , H. C. Robarts (University of Bristol; Diamond Light Source) , F. Wenzel (Heidelberg University) , J. Li (Diamond Light Source; Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences) , H. Elnaggar (Utrecht University) , R.-p. Wang (Utrecht University) , A. Walters (Diamond Light Source) , M. Garcia-fernandez (Diamond Light Source) , F. M. F. De Groot (Utrecht University) , M. W. Haverkort (Heidelberg University) , K. Zhou (Diamond Light Source)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Physical Review Letters , VOL 124

State: Published (Approved)
Published: February 2020

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: Understanding many-body physics of elementary excitations has advanced our control over material properties. Here, we study spin-flip excitations in NiO using Ni L3-edge resonant inelastic x-ray scattering (RIXS) and present a strikingly different resonant energy behavior between single and double spin-flip excitations. Comparing our results with single-site full-multiplet ligand field theory calculations we find that the spectral weight of the double-magnon excitations originates primarily from the double spin-flip transition of the quadrupolar RIXS process within a single magnetic site. Quadrupolar spin-flip processes are among the least studied excitations, despite being important for multiferroic or spin-nematic materials due to their difficult detection. We identify intermediate state multiplets and intra-atomic core-valence exchange interactions as the key many-body factors determining the fate of such excitations. RIXS resonant energy dependence can act as a convincing proof of existence of nondipolar higher-ranked magnetic orders in systems for which, only theoretical predictions are available.

Journal Keywords: Resonant inelastic x-ray scattering, Many-body techniques, Magnons, Antiferromagnets, Magnetic insulators

Subject Areas: Physics, Technique Development, Materials

Instruments: I21-Resonant Inelastic X-ray Scattering (RIXS)