Systematic Study of the Magnetic Properties of Weak Ferromagnets

Top Quote The results of research can be of great importance for the development of spintronics. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) February 16, 2018 - The international team of physicists conducted a systematic study of the magnetic properties of weak ferromagnets. The research team included researchers from France, Great Britain, Sweden, Germany and Russia. On the part of Russia, the studies were conducted by scientists from Moscow State University, the Russian Academy of Sciences and Ural Federal University.

    ‘In the course of the study, we conducted a systematic study of the antisymmetric Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction (DMI) in four isostructural weak ferromagnets, the composition of which includes magnetic atoms Mn, Fe, Co, Ni arranged sequentially in the periodic table. To determine the sign of the interaction, we used a new experimental method based on diffraction (deviation from the laws of geometric optics) of synchrotron radiation,’ says Elena Ovchinnikova, professor of the Solid State Physics Department at the Physics Department of the Moscow State University.

    The new diffraction technique is based on interference (imposition) of magnetic and resonance scattering of synchrotron radiation in antiferromagnets. With its help, it is possible to determine the exact direction of the magnetic moment of each atom in the composition of matter and, as a consequence, the sign of the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction. It is noteworthy that this technique can be used even in the case of very small samples.

    The experimental results are confirmed by quantum-mechanical calculations of the sign and the magnitude of the canting angle of the antiferromagnetic moments of atoms ab initio - that is, using only the basic laws of physics. The scientists also proposed a simple toy model that gives an idea of the evolution of the magnitude of the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction, depending on the filling degree of the studied compounds’ 3D orbitals.

    ‘At present, the Dzyaloshinskii-Moria interaction is regarded as a key element in the physics of multiferroics, materials that have spontaneous magnetic and electrical properties. The results of our work can be of great importance for the development of spintronics, the part of quantum electronics, in the devices of which the transfer occurs by the current of spins,’ concludes Elena Ovchinnikova.

    The Results of the study has been published by the American Physical Society, in Physical Review Letters.

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