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 Ni3TeO6 with 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, 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-d on-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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics