Multiferroicity induced by dislocated spin-density waves

Joseph J. Betouras, Gianluca Giovannetti, Jeroen van den Brink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We uncover a new pathway towards multiferroicity, showing how magnetism can drive ferroelectricity without relying on inversion symmetry breaking of the magnetic ordering. Our free-energy analysis demonstrates that any commensurate spin-density-wave ordering with a phase dislocation, even if it is collinear, gives rise to an electric polarization. Because of the dislocation, the electronic and magnetic inversion centers do not coincide, which turns out to be a sufficient condition for multiferroic coupling. The novel mechanism explains the formation of multiferroic phases at the magnetic commensurability transitions, such as the ones observed in YMn2O5 and related compounds. We predict that in these multiferroics an oscillating electrical polarization is concomitant with the uniform polarization. On the basis of our theory, we put forward new types of magnetic materials that are potentially ferroelectric.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257602
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume98
Issue number25
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2007

Keywords

  • HALF-DOPED MANGANITES
  • ELECTRIC POLARIZATION
  • FERROELECTRICITY
  • CHARGE
  • MAGNETOELECTRICS
  • PEROVSKITE
  • OXIDES
  • ORIGIN

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