Large magneto-optical Kerr effect and imaging of magnetic octupole domains in an antiferromagnetic metal

Tomoya Higo, Huiyuan Man, Daniel B. Gopman, Liang Wu, Takashi Koretsune, Olaf M.J. Van 'T Erve, Yury P. Kabanov, Dylan Rees, Yufan Li, Michi To Suzuki, Shreyas Patankar, Muhammad Ikhlas, C. L. Chien, Ryotaro Arita, Robert D. Shull, Joseph Orenstein, Satoru Nakatsuji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The magneto-optical Kerr effect (MOKE) has been intensively studied in a variety of ferro- and ferrimagnetic materials as a powerful probe for electronic and magnetic properties 1-3 and for magneto-optical technologies 4 . The MOKE can be additionally useful for the investigation of the antiferromagnetic (AF) state, although thus far limited to insulators 5-9 . Here, we report the first observation of the MOKE in an AF metal. In particular, we find that the non-collinear AF metal Mn3Sn (ref. 10 ) exhibits a large zero-field Kerr rotation angle of 20 mdeg at room temperature, comparable to ferromagnetic metals. Our first-principles calculations clarify that ferroic ordering of magnetic octupoles 11 produces a large MOKE even in its fully compensated AF state. This large MOKE further allows imaging of the magnetic octupole domains and their reversal. The observation of a large MOKE in an AF metal will open new avenues for the study of domain dynamics as well as spintronics using antiferromagnets 12-16 .

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-78
Number of pages6
JournalNature Photonics
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Feb 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

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