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  1. Abstract

    The presence of multiple competing periodicities may result in a system to go through states with modulated periodicities, an example of which is the self-similar staircase-like structure called the Devil’s Staircase. Herein we report on a novel staircase structure of domain periodicity in an amorphous and centrosymmetric Fe/Gd magnetic thin film system wherein the reciprocal space wavevectorQdue to the ordered stripe domains does not evolve continuously, rather exhibits a staircase structure. Resonant X-ray scattering experiments show jumps in the periodicity of the stripe domains as a function of an external magnetic field. When resolved in components, the length-scale step change along Qxwas found to be an integral multiple of a minimum step height of 7 nm, which resembles closely to the exchange length of the system. Modeling the magnetic texture in the Fe/Gd system as an achiral spin arrangement, we have been able to reproduce the steps in the magnetization using a Landau-Lifshitz spin dynamics calculation. Our results indicate that anisotropy and not the dipolar interaction is the dominant cause for the staircase pattern, thereby revealing the effect of achiral magnetism.

     
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  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  3. Noncollinear antiferromagnets with novel magnetic orders, vanishingly small net magnetization and exotic spin related properties hold enormous promise for developing next generation, transformative spintronic applications. A major ongoing research focus of this community is to explore, control, and harness unconventional magnetic phases of this emergent material system to deliver state-of-the-art functionalities for modern microelectronics. Here we report direct imaging of magnetic domains of polycrystalline Mn3Sn films, a prototypical noncollinear antiferromagnet, using nitrogen-vacancy-based single-spin scanning microscopy. Nanoscale evolution of local stray field patterns of Mn3Sn samples are systematically investigated in response to external driving forces, revealing the characteristic “heterogeneous” magnetic switching behaviors in polycrystalline textured Mn3Sn films. Our results contribute to a comprehensive understanding of inhomogeneous magnetic orders of noncollinear antiferromagnets, highlighting the potential of nitrogen-vacancy centers to study microscopic spin properties of a broad range of emergent condensed matter systems. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 14, 2024
  4. This work reports a method of producing flexible cobalt nanowires (NWs) directly from the chemical conversion of bulk precursors at room temperature. Chemical reduction of Li 6 CoCl 8 produces a nanocomposite of Co and LiCl, of which the salt is subsequently removed. The dilute concentration of Co in the precursor combined with the anisotropic crystal structure of the hcp phase leads to 1D growth in the absence of any templates or additives. The Co NWs are shown to have high saturation magnetization (130.6 emu g −1 ). Our understanding of the NW formation mechanism points to new directions of scalable nanostructure generation. 
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  5. Novel noncollinear antiferromagnets with spontaneous time-reversal symmetry breaking, nontrivial band topology, and unconventional transport properties have received immense research interest over the past decade due to their rich physics and enormous promise in technological applications. One of the central focuses in this emerging field is exploring the relationship between the microscopic magnetic structure and exotic material properties. Here, the nanoscale imaging of both spin-orbit-torque-induced deterministic magnetic switching and chiral spin rotation in noncollinear antiferromagnet Mn3Sn films using nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers is reported. Direct evidence of the off-resonance dipole-dipole coupling between the spin dynamics in Mn3Sn and proximate NV centers is also demonstrated with NV relaxometry measurements. These results demonstrate the unique capabilities of NV centers in accessing the local information of the magnetic order and dynamics in these emergent quantum materials and suggest new opportunities for investigating the interplay between topology and magnetism in a broad range of topological magnets. 
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