Magnetic structure of MnSi under an applied field probed by polarized small-angle neutron scattering

S. V. Grigoriev, S. V. Maleyev, A. I. Okorokov, Yu O. Chetverikov, P. Böni, R. Georgii, D. Lamago, H. Eckerlebe, K. Pranzas

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The magnetic structure of a single crystal MnSi under applied field has been studied by small angle diffraction with polarized neutrons below TC =28.7 K. Experiments have shown that in zero field the magnetic structure of MnSi consists of four left-handed spiral domains oriented along four 111 axes. The magnetic field, applied along one of the 111 axes, produces a single domain helix oriented along the field at HC1 ≈80 mT at low temperatures. The magnetic mosaic of the spin structure changes with the magnetic field and has a maximum at HC1. The integral intensity of the Bragg reflection shows a sharp minimum at Hin ≈160 mT attributed to an instability of the helix structure. When the field has a component perpendicular to the helix wave vector k, it rotates toward the field direction in the field range H< Hin. Additionally, a second harmonic of the helix structure is induced by the perpendicular magnetic field for H< Hin. These three features are well explained accounting for the presence of a spin wave gap Δ∼g μB Hin 212 μeV, which provides the stability of the spin wave spectrum with respect to the perpendicular magnetic field. Further increase of the field leads to a magnetic phase transition from conical to a ferromagnetic state near HC2 ≈600 mT. The critical field HC2 is related to the spin wave stiffness A as g μB HC2 =A k2. Our findings are in agreement with the recently developed theory [Phys. Rev. B 73, 174402 (2006)] for cubic magnets with Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction, which relates the major parameters of the spin wave spectrum (such as the spin wave stiffness and the gap) with the features of the spin structure of MnSi being observed under applied magnetic field.

Original languageEnglish
Article number214414
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number21
StatePublished - 2006


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