Spiral spin structures and origin of the magnetoelectric coupling in YMn2O5

J. H. Kim, S. H. Lee, S. I. Park, M. Kenzelmann, A. B. Harris, J. Schefer, J. H. Chung, C. F. Majkrzak, M. Takeda, S. Wakimoto, S. Y. Park, S. W. Cheong, M. Matsuda, H. Kimura, Y. Noda, K. Kakurai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


By combining neutron four-circle diffraction and polarized neutron-diffraction techniques we have determined the complex spin structures of a multiferroic YMn2O5 that exhibits two ferroelectric phases at low temperatures. The obtained magnetic structure has spiral components in both the low-temperature ferroelectric phases that are magnetically commensurate and incommensurate, respectively. Among proposed microscopic theories for the magnetoelectric coupling, our results are consistent with both the spin-current mechanism and the magnetostriction mechanism. Our results also explain why the electric polarization changes at the low-temperature commensurate-to-incommensurate phase transition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number245115
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Dec 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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