Magnetic Fluctuations, Precursor Phenomena, and Phase Transition in MnSi under a Magnetic Field

Magnetic Fluctuations, Precursor Phenomena, and Phase Transition in MnSi under a Magnetic Field The reference chiral helimagnet MnSi is the first system where Skyrmion lattice correlations have been reported. At a zero magnetic field the transition at TC to the helimagnetic state is of first order. Above TC, in a region dominated by precursor phenomena, neutron scattering shows the buildup of strong chiral fluctuating correlations over the surface of a sphere with radius 2π/ℓ, where ℓ is the pitch of the helix. It has been suggested that these fluctuating correlations drive the helical transition to first order following a scenario proposed by Brazovskii for liquid crystals. We present a comprehensive neutron scattering study under magnetic fields, which provides evidence that this is not the case. The sharp first order transition persists for magnetic fields up to 0.4 T whereas the fluctuating correlations weaken and start to concentrate along the field direction already above 0.2 T. Our results thus disconnect the first order nature of the transition from the precursor fluctuating correlations. They also show no indication for a tricritical point, where the first order transition crosses over to second order with increasing magnetic field. In this light, the nature of the first order helical transition and the precursor phenomena above TC, both of general relevance to chiral magnetism, remain an open question. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Physical Review Letters American Physical Society (APS)

Magnetic Fluctuations, Precursor Phenomena, and Phase Transition in MnSi under a Magnetic Field

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Magnetic Fluctuations, Precursor Phenomena, and Phase Transition in MnSi under a Magnetic Field

Abstract

The reference chiral helimagnet MnSi is the first system where Skyrmion lattice correlations have been reported. At a zero magnetic field the transition at TC to the helimagnetic state is of first order. Above TC, in a region dominated by precursor phenomena, neutron scattering shows the buildup of strong chiral fluctuating correlations over the surface of a sphere with radius 2π/ℓ, where ℓ is the pitch of the helix. It has been suggested that these fluctuating correlations drive the helical transition to first order following a scenario proposed by Brazovskii for liquid crystals. We present a comprehensive neutron scattering study under magnetic fields, which provides evidence that this is not the case. The sharp first order transition persists for magnetic fields up to 0.4 T whereas the fluctuating correlations weaken and start to concentrate along the field direction already above 0.2 T. Our results thus disconnect the first order nature of the transition from the precursor fluctuating correlations. They also show no indication for a tricritical point, where the first order transition crosses over to second order with increasing magnetic field. In this light, the nature of the first order helical transition and the precursor phenomena above TC, both of general relevance to chiral magnetism, remain an open question.
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Publisher
American Physical Society (APS)
Copyright
Copyright © © 2017 American Physical Society
ISSN
0031-9007
eISSN
1079-7114
D.O.I.
10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.047203
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The reference chiral helimagnet MnSi is the first system where Skyrmion lattice correlations have been reported. At a zero magnetic field the transition at TC to the helimagnetic state is of first order. Above TC, in a region dominated by precursor phenomena, neutron scattering shows the buildup of strong chiral fluctuating correlations over the surface of a sphere with radius 2π/ℓ, where ℓ is the pitch of the helix. It has been suggested that these fluctuating correlations drive the helical transition to first order following a scenario proposed by Brazovskii for liquid crystals. We present a comprehensive neutron scattering study under magnetic fields, which provides evidence that this is not the case. The sharp first order transition persists for magnetic fields up to 0.4 T whereas the fluctuating correlations weaken and start to concentrate along the field direction already above 0.2 T. Our results thus disconnect the first order nature of the transition from the precursor fluctuating correlations. They also show no indication for a tricritical point, where the first order transition crosses over to second order with increasing magnetic field. In this light, the nature of the first order helical transition and the precursor phenomena above TC, both of general relevance to chiral magnetism, remain an open question.

Journal

Physical Review LettersAmerican Physical Society (APS)

Published: Jul 28, 2017

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