Field-induced reorientation of helimagnetic order in Cu2OSeO3 probed by magnetic force microscopy

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Cu2OSeO3 is an insulating skyrmion-host material with a magnetoelectric coupling giving rise to an electric polarization with a characteristic dependence on the magnetic-field (H) over right arrow. We report a magnetic force microscopy imaging of the helical real-space spin structure on the surface of a bulk single crystal of Cu2OSeO3. In the presence of a magnetic field, the helimagnetic order, in general, reorients and acquires a homogeneous component of the magnetization, resulting in a conical arrangement at larger fields. We investigate this reorientation process at a temperature of 10 K for fields close to the crystallographic < 110 > direction that involves a phase transition at H-c1. Experimental evidence is presented for the formation of magnetic domains in real space as well as for the microscopic origin of relaxation events that accompany the reorientation process. In addition, the electric polarization is measured by means of Kelvin-probe force microscopy. We show that the characteristic field dependency of the electric polarization originates in this helimagnetic reorientation process. Our experimental results are well described by an effective Landau theory previously invoked for MnSi, that captures the competition between magnetocrystalline anisotropies and Zeeman energy.


Original languageEnglish
Article number024426
Number of pages11
JournalPhysical review. B
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2020

External IDs

Scopus 85089563755
ORCID /0000-0002-2484-4158/work/142257524