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Advanced Materials

Multiferroics with Spiral Spin Orders

Authors

  • Yoshinori Tokura,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Applied Physics, University of Tokyo Multiferroics Project, ERATO Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) Tokyo 113-8656 (Japan)
    2. Cross-Correlated Materials Group (CMRG) RIKEN Advanced Science Institute Wako 351-0198 (Japan)
    • Department of Applied Physics, University of Tokyo Multiferroics Project, ERATO Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) Tokyo 113-8656 (Japan).
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  • Shinichiro Seki

    1. Department of Applied Physics, University of Tokyo Multiferroics Project, ERATO Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) Tokyo 113-8656 (Japan)
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Abstract

Cross correlation between magnetism and electricity in a solid can host magnetoelectric effects, such as magnetic (electric) induction of polarization (magnetization). A key to attain the gigantic magnetoelectric response is to find the efficient magnetism–electricity coupling mechanisms. Among those, recently the emergence of spontaneous (ferroelectric) polarization in the insulating helimagnet or spiral-spin structure was unraveled, as mediated by the spin-exchange and spin–orbit interactions. The sign of the polarization depends on the helicity (spin rotation sense), while the polarization direction itself depends on further details of the mechanism and the underlying lattice symmetry. Here, we describe some prototypical examples of the spiral-spin multiferroics, which enable some unconventional magnetoelectric control such as the magnetic-field-induced change of the polarization direction and magnitude as well as the electric-field-induced change of the spin helicity and magnetic domain.

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