MnSb2O6: A polar magnet with a chiral crystal structure

R. D. Johnson, K. Cao, L. C. Chapon, F. Fabrizi, N. Perks, P. Manuel, J. J. Yang, Y. S. Oh, S. W. Cheong, P. G. Radaelli

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31 Scopus citations


Structural and magnetic chiralities are found to coexist in a small group of materials in which they produce intriguing phenomenologies such as the recently discovered Skyrmion phases. Here, we describe a previously unknown manifestation of this interplay in MnSb2O6, a trigonal oxide with a chiral crystal structure. Unlike all other known cases, the MnSb2O6 magnetic structure is based on corotating cycloids rather than helices. The coupling to the structural chirality is provided by a magnetic axial vector, related to the so-called vector chirality. We show that this unique arrangement is the magnetic ground state of the symmetric-exchange Hamiltonian, based on ab initio theoretical calculations of the Heisenberg exchange interactions, and is stabilized by out-of-plane anisotropy. MnSb 2O6 is predicted to be multiferroic with a unique ferroelectric switching mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number017202
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 3 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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