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Measuring the Dzyaloshinskii–Moriya interaction in a weak ferromagnet

DOI: 10.1038/nphys2859 DOI Help

Authors: Vladimir Dmitrienko (AV Shubnikov Institute of Crystallography) , Elena Ovchinnikova (Moscow State University) , Steve Collins (Diamond Light Source) , Gareth Nisbet (Diamond Light Source) , Guillaume Beutier (CEA, INAC) , Y. O. Kvashnin (ESRF) , V. V. Mazurenko (Department of Theoretical Physics and Applied Mathematics, Ural Federal University) , A. I. Lichtenstein (I. Institut für Theoretische Physik, Universität Hamburg) , M. I. Katsnelson (Radboud University Nijmegen, Institute for Molecules and Materials)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Nature Physics , VOL 10 (3) , PAGES 202 - 206

State: Published (Approved)
Published: February 2014

Abstract: Magnetism—the spontaneous alignment of atomic moments in a material—is driven by quantum mechanical exchange interactions that operate over interatomic distances. Some magnetic interactions cause1, 2, or are caused by3, 4, a twisting of arrangements of atoms. This can lead to the magnetoelectric effect, predicted to play a prominent role in future technology, and to the phenomenon of weak ferromagnetism, governed by the so-called Dzyaloshinskii–Moriya interaction5, 6, 7, 8. Here we determine the sign of the latter interaction in iron borate (FeBO3) by using synchrotron radiation. We present a novel experimental technique based on the interference between two X-ray scattering processes, where one acts as a reference wave. Our experimental results are validated by state-of-the-art ab initio calculations. Together, our experimental and theoretical approaches are expected to open up new possibilities for exploring, modelling and exploiting novel magnetic and magnetoelectric materials.

Subject Areas: Physics


Instruments: I16-Materials and Magnetism

Other Facilities: BM28 - ESRF