New magnetic phase of the chiral skyrmion material Cu2OSeO3

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Science Advances  21 Sep 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 9, eaat7323
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aat7323


The lack of inversion symmetry in the crystal lattice of magnetic materials gives rise to complex noncollinear spin orders through interactions of a relativistic nature, resulting in interesting physical phenomena, such as emergent electromagnetism. Studies of cubic chiral magnets revealed a universal magnetic phase diagram composed of helical spiral, conical spiral, and skyrmion crystal phases. We report a remarkable deviation from this universal behavior. By combining neutron diffraction with magnetization measurements, we observe a new multidomain state in Cu2OSeO3. Just below the upper critical field at which the conical spiral state disappears, the spiral wave vector rotates away from the magnetic field direction. This transition gives rise to large magnetic fluctuations. We clarify the physical origin of the new state and discuss its multiferroic properties.

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