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The Helical Magnet MnSi: Skyrmions and Magnons

Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum (MLZ), Technische Universität München, Lichtenbergstr. 1, 85747 Garching, Germany
Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL), 71 avenue des Martyrs, 38042 Grenoble, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Quantum Beam Sci. 2019, 3(1), 4;
Received: 6 July 2018 / Revised: 19 December 2018 / Accepted: 12 February 2019 / Published: 21 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Magnetic Materials and Magnetism)
PDF [532 KB, uploaded 3 March 2019]


Since the late 1970s, MnSi has played a major role in developing the theory of helical magnets in non-centrosymmetric materials showing the Dzyaloshinsky-Moriya interaction (DMI). With a long helimagnetic pitch of 175 Å as compared to the lattice d-spacing of 4.55 Å, it was ideal for performing neutron studies, especially as large single crystals could be grown. A (B-T)-phase diagram was measured, and in these studies, under the application of a field of about 180 mT perpendicular to the scattering vector Q, a so-called A-phase in the B-T phase diagram was found and first interpreted as a re-orientation of the magnetic helix. After the surprising discovery of the skyrmion lattice in the A-phase in 2009, much interest arose due to the rigidity of the skyrmionic lattice, which is only loosely bound to the crystal lattice, and therefore only relatively small current densities can already induce a motion of this lattice. A very interesting approach to even better understand the complex structures in the phase diagram is to measure and model the spin excitations in MnSi. As the helimagnetic state is characterized by a long pitch of about 175 Å, the associated characteristic excitations form a band structure due to Umklapp scattering and can only be observed at very small Q with energies below 1 meV. Similarly, the excitations of the skyrmion lattice are very soft and low-energetic. We investigated the magnons in MnSi in the whole (B,T)-phase diagram starting in the single-k helimagnetic state by applying a small magnetic field, B = 100 mT. This way, the complexity of the magnon spectrum is significantly reduced, allowing for a detailed comparison of the data with theory, resulting in a full theoretical understanding of the spin system of MnSi in all its different magnetic phases. View Full-Text
Keywords: helimagnets; magnetic skyrmions; non-recpriocal dispersion relation helimagnets; magnetic skyrmions; non-recpriocal dispersion relation

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Georgii, R.; Weber, T. The Helical Magnet MnSi: Skyrmions and Magnons. Quantum Beam Sci. 2019, 3, 4.

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