Publications associated with Oxide Electronics

Direct experimental determination of spiral spin structures via the dichroism extinction effect in resonant elastic soft X-ray scattering

Physical Review B American Physical Society 96 (2017) 094401

SL Zhang, G van der Laan, T Hesjedal

Long-wavelength spin spiral structures are ubiquitous in a large variety of magnetic materials. The detailed magnetic structure can take many variations owing to their different physical origins. Therefore, the unambiguous structural determination is crucial for understanding these spin systems, though such a task is experimentally challenging. Here we show that ordered spin spiral structures can be fully determined in a single measurement by dichroic resonant elastic x-ray scattering using circularly polarized light. It is found that at certain geometrical conditions, the circular dichroism of the diffraction vanishes completely, revealing a one-to-one correspondence with the spin structure. We demonstrate both theoretically and experimentally this experimental principle, which allows for unambiguous structure determination immediately from the measured signal, whereby no modeling- based data refinement is needed. This largely expands the capabilities of conventional magnetic characterization techniques.

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