Competing magnetic phases and fluctuation-driven scalar spin chirality in the kagome metal YMn6Sn6

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Science Advances  18 Dec 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 51, eabe2680
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abe2680


Identification, understanding, and manipulation of novel magnetic textures are essential for the discovery of new quantum materials for future spin-based electronic devices. In particular, materials that manifest a large response to external stimuli such as a magnetic field are subject to intense investigation. Here, we study the kagome-net magnet YMn6Sn6 by magnetometry, transport, and neutron diffraction measurements combined with first-principles calculations. We identify a number of nontrivial magnetic phases, explain their microscopic nature, and demonstrate that one of them hosts a large topological Hall effect (THE). We propose a previously unidentified fluctuation-driven mechanism, which leads to the THE at elevated temperatures. This interesting physics comes from parametrically frustrated interplanar exchange interactions that trigger strong magnetic fluctuations. Our results pave a path to chiral spin textures, promising for novel spintronics.

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