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Control of chiral magnetism through electric fields in multiferroic compounds above the long-range multiferroic transition

: Stein, J.; Baum, Max; Holbein, S.; Finger, T.; Cronert, T.; Tölzer, C.; Fröhlich, T.; Biesenkamp, S.; Schmalzl, K.; Steffens, P.; Lee, C.H.; Braden, M.


Physical review letters 119 (2017), Nr.17, Art. 177201, 6 S.
ISSN: 0031-9007
ISSN: 1079-7114
Fraunhofer INT ()

Polarized neutron scattering experiments reveal that type-II multiferroics allow for controlling the spin chirality by external electric fields even in the absence of long-range multiferroic order. In the two prototype compounds TbMnO₃ and MnWO₄, chiral magnetism associated with soft overdamped electromagnons can be observed above the long-range multiferroic transition temperature TMF, and it is possible to control it through an electric field. While MnWO₄ exhibits chiral correlations only in a tiny temperature interval above TMF, in TbMnO₃ chiral magnetism can be observed over several kelvin up to the lock-in transition, which is well separated from TMF.