skip to main content

Title: Piezomagnetic switching and complex phase equilibria in uranium dioxide

Actinide materials exhibit strong spin–lattice coupling and electronic correlations, and are predicted to host new emerging ground states. One example is piezomagnetism and magneto-elastic memory effect in the antiferromagnetic Mott-Hubbard insulator uranium dioxide, though its microscopic nature is under debate. Here, we report X-ray diffraction studies of oriented uranium dioxide crystals under strong pulsed magnetic fields. In the antiferromagnetic state a [888] Bragg diffraction peak follows the bulk magnetostriction that expands under magnetic fields. Upon reversal of the field the expansion turns to contraction, before the [888] peak follows the switching effect and piezomagnetic ‘butterfly’ behaviour, characteristic of two structures connected by time reversal symmetry. An unexpected splitting of the [888] peak is observed, indicating the simultaneous presence of time-reversed domains of the 3-k structure and a complex magnetic-field-induced evolution of the microstructure. These findings open the door for a microscopic understanding of the piezomagnetism and magnetic coupling across strong magneto-elastic interactions.

; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Communications Materials
Nature Publishing Group
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Nonlinear photocurrent in time-reversal invariant noncentrosymmetric systems such as ferroelectric semimetals sparked tremendous interest of utilizing nonlinear optics to characterize condensed matter with exotic phases. Here we provide a microscopic theory of two types of second-order nonlinear direct photocurrents, magnetic shift photocurrent (MSC) and magnetic injection photocurrent (MIC), as the counterparts of normal shift current (NSC) and normal injection current (NIC) in time-reversal symmetry and inversion symmetry broken systems. We show that MSC is mainly governed by shift vector and interband Berry curvature, and MIC is dominated by absorption strength and asymmetry of the group velocity difference at time-reversedmore »±kpoints. Taking$${\cal{P}}{\cal{T}}$$PT-symmetric magnetic topological quantum material bilayer antiferromagnetic (AFM) MnBi2Te4as an example, we predict the presence of large MIC in the terahertz (THz) frequency regime which can be switched between two AFM states with time-reversed spin orderings upon magnetic transition. In addition, external electric field breaks$${\cal{P}}{\cal{T}}$$PTsymmetry and enables large NSC response in bilayer AFM MnBi2Te4, which can be switched by external electric field. Remarkably, both MIC and NSC are highly tunable under varying electric field due to the field-induced large Rashba and Zeeman splitting, resulting in large nonlinear photocurrent response down to a few THz regime, suggesting bilayer AFM-zMnBi2Te4as a tunable platform with rich THz and magneto-optoelectronic applications. Our results reveal that nonlinear photocurrent responses governed by NSC, NIC, MSC, and MIC provide a powerful tool for deciphering magnetic structures and interactions which could be particularly fruitful for probing and understanding magnetic topological quantum materials.

    « less
  2. We used a combination of polarized Raman spectroscopy experiment and model magnetism–phonon coupling calculations to study the rich magneto-Raman effect in the two-dimensional (2D) magnet CrI 3 . We reveal a layered-magnetism–assisted phonon scattering mechanism below the magnetic onset temperature, whose Raman excitation breaks time-reversal symmetry, has an antisymmetric Raman tensor, and follows the magnetic phase transitions across critical magnetic fields, on top of the presence of the conventional phonon scattering with symmetric Raman tensors in N -layer CrI 3 . We resolve in data and by calculations that the first-order A g phonon of the monolayer splits into anmore »N -fold multiplet in N -layer CrI 3 due to the interlayer coupling ( N ≥ 2 ) and that the phonons within the multiplet show distinct magnetic field dependence because of their different layered-magnetism–phonon coupling. We further find that such a layered-magnetism–phonon coupled Raman scattering mechanism extends beyond first-order to higher-order multiphonon scattering processes. Our results on the magneto-Raman effect of the first-order phonons in the multiplet and the higher-order multiphonons in N -layer CrI 3 demonstrate the rich and strong behavior of emergent magneto-optical effects in 2D magnets and underline the unique opportunities of spin–phonon physics in van der Waals layered magnets.« less
  3. Abstract

    Nonreciprocal directional dichroism is an unusual light–matter interaction that gives rise to diode-like behavior in low-symmetry materials. The chiral varieties are particularly scarce due to the requirements for strong spin–orbit coupling, broken time-reversal symmetry, and a chiral axis. Here we bring together magneto-optical spectroscopy and first-principles calculations to reveal high-energy, broadband nonreciprocal directional dichroism in Ni3TeO6with special focus on behavior in the metamagnetic phase above 52 T. In addition to demonstrating this effect in the magnetochiral configuration, we explore the transverse magnetochiral orientation in which applied field and light propagation are orthogonal to the chiral axis and, by so doing,more »uncover an additional configuration with a unique nonreciprocal response in the visible part of the spectrum. In a significant conceptual advance, we use first-principles methods to analyze how the Ni2+d-to-don-site excitations develop magneto-electric character and present a microscopic model that unlocks the door to theory-driven discovery of chiral magnets with nonreciprocal properties.

    « less
  4. The Kitaev honeycomb model has attracted significant attention due to its exactly solvable spin-liquid ground state with fractionalized Majorana excitations and its possible materialization in magnetic Mott insulators with strong spin-orbit couplings. Recently, the 5d-electron compound H3LiIr2O6 has shown to be a strong candidate for Kitaev physics considering the absence of any signs of a long-range ordered magnetic state. In this work, we demonstrate that a finite density of random vacancies in the Kitaev model gives rise to a striking pileup of low-energy Majorana eigenmodes and reproduces the apparent power-law upturn in the specific heat measurements of H3LiIr2O6. Physically, themore »vacancies can originate from various sources such as missing magnetic moments or the presence of nonmagnetic impurities (true vacancies), or from local weak couplings of magnetic moments due to strong but rare bond randomness (quasivacancies). We show numerically that the vacancy effect is readily detectable even at low vacancy concentrations and that it is not very sensitive either to the nature of vacancies or to different flux backgrounds. We also study the response of the site-diluted Kitaev spin liquid to the three-spin interaction term, which breaks time-reversal symmetry and imitates an external magnetic field. We propose a field-induced flux-sector transition where the ground state becomes flux-free for larger fields, resulting in a clear suppression of the low-temperature specific heat. Finally, we discuss the effect of dangling Majorana fermions in the case of true vacancies and show that their coupling to an applied magnetic field via the Zeeman interaction can also account for the scaling behavior in the high-field limit observed in H3LiIr2O6.« less
  5. The strong spin–orbit coupling (SOC) in lead halide perovskites, when inversion symmetry is lifted, has provided opportunities for investigating the Rashba effect in these systems. Moreover, the strong orbital moment, which, in turn, impacts the spin-pair in singlet and triplet electronic states, plays a significant role in enhancing the optoelectronic properties in the presence of external magnetic fields in lead halide perovskites. Here, we investigate the effect of weak magnetic fields (<1 T) on the photoluminescence (PL) properties of [Formula: see text] nanocrystals with and without Ruddlesden–Popper (RP) faults and single crystals of [Formula: see text]. Along with an enhancement inmore »the PL intensity as a function of an external magnetic field, which is observed in both lead bromide perovskites, the PL emission red-shifts in [Formula: see text] nanocrystals. Density-functional theory calculations of the electronic band-edge in [Formula: see text] show almost no change in the energy gap as a function of the external magnetic field. The experimental results, thus, suggest the role of mixing of the triplet and singlet excitonic states under weak magnetic fields. This is further deduced from an enhancement in PL lifetimes as a function of the field in [Formula: see text]. In [Formula: see text], an increase in PL intensity is observed under weak magnetic fields; however, no changes in the peak energy or PL lifetimes are observed. The internal magnetic fields due to SOC are characterized for all three samples and found to be the highest for [Formula: see text] nanocrystals with RP faults.« less