Nonreciprocal Magnons and Symmetry-Breaking in the Noncentrosymmetric Antiferromagnet

G. Gitgeatpong, Y. Zhao, P. Piyawongwatthana, Y. Qiu, L. W. Harriger, N. P. Butch, T. J. Sato, K. Matan

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32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Inelastic neutron scattering measurements were performed to study spin dynamics in the noncentrosymmetric antiferromagnet α-Cu2V2O7. For the first time, nonreciprocal magnons were experimentally measured in an antiferromagnet. These nonreciprocal magnons are caused by the incompatibility between anisotropic exchange and antisymmetric Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interactions, which arise from broken symmetry, resulting in a collinear ordered state but helical spin dynamics. The nonreciprocity introduces the difference in the phase velocity of the counterrotating modes, causing the opposite spontaneous magnonic Faraday rotation of the left- and right-propagating spin waves. The breaking of spatial inversion and time reversal symmetry is revealed as a magnetic-field-induced asymmetric energy shift, which provides a test for the detailed balance relation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number047201
JournalPhysical review letters
Volume119
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jul 24

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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