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Indirect chiral magnetic exchange through Dzyaloshinskii–Moriya-enhanced RKKY interactions in manganese oxide chains on Ir(100)

Schmitt, Martin and Moras, Paolo and Bihlmayer, Gustav and Cotsakis, Ryan and Vogt, Matthias and Kemmer, Jeannette and Belabbes, Abderrezak and Sheverdyaeva, Polina M. and Kundu, Asish K. and Carbone, Carlo and Blügel, Stefan and Bode, Matthias (2019) Indirect chiral magnetic exchange through Dzyaloshinskii–Moriya-enhanced RKKY interactions in manganese oxide chains on Ir(100). Nature Communications, 10 . Art. No. 2610. ISSN 2041-1723. PMCID PMC6565667.

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Localized electron spins can couple magnetically via the Ruderman–Kittel–Kasuya–Yosida interaction even if their wave functions lack direct overlap. Theory predicts that spin–orbit scattering leads to a Dzyaloshinskii–Moriya type enhancement of this indirect exchange interaction, giving rise to chiral exchange terms. Here we present a combined spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscopy, angle-resolved photoemission, and density functional theory study of MnO_2 chains on Ir(100). Whereas we find antiferromagnetic Mn–Mn coupling along the chain, the inter-chain coupling across the non-magnetic Ir substrate turns out to be chiral with a 120° rotation between adjacent MnO_2 chains. Calculations reveal that the Dzyaloshinskii–Moriya interaction results in spin spirals with a periodicity in agreement with experiment. Our findings confirm the existence of indirect chiral magnetic exchange, potentially giving rise to exotic phenomena, such as chiral spin-liquid states in spin ice systems or the emergence of new quasiparticles.

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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Moras, Paolo0000-0002-7771-8737
Bihlmayer, Gustav0000-0002-6615-1122
Blügel, Stefan0000-0001-9987-4733
Bode, Matthias0000-0001-7514-5560
Additional Information:© The Author(s) 2019. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit Received 19 September 2018; Accepted 16 May 2019; Published 13 June 2019. Data availability: The data that support these findings of this study are available on request from M.S. (STM), P.M. (ARPES), and G.B. (theory). Experimental work was supported by DFG through FOR 1700 (project E6), SPP 2137 “Skyrmionics” (BO 1468/26-1), and by the Dresden-Würzburg Center for Topological Quantum Matter Research (ct.qmat). A.K.K. acknowledges receipt of a fellowship from the ICTP-TRIL Programme, Trieste, Italy. Author Contributions: M.S., R.C., M.V. and J.K. performed and analyzed STM measurements. P.M., P.M.S., A.K.K. and C.C. performed ARPES experiments and analyzed the data. G.B., A.B. and S.B. provided the theoretical framework. All authors discussed the results and contributed in writing the manuscript. The authors declare no competing interests.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)FOR 17000
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)SPP 2137
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)BO 1468/26-1
Dresden-Würzburg Center for Topological Quantum Matter ResearchUNSPECIFIED
Programme for Training and Research in Italian LaboratoriesUNSPECIFIED
PubMed Central ID:PMC6565667
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190617-102004180
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:96457
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:17 Jun 2019 17:34
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 21:22

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