New magnetic phase of the chiral skyrmion material Cu2OSeO3

F. Qian, L.J. Bannenberg, H. Wilhelm, G. Chaboussant, L. M. Debeer-Schmitt, M. P. Schmidt, A. Aqeel, T.T.M. Palstra, E.H. Bruck, A.J.E. Lefering, C. Pappas, M. Mostovoy, and A. O. Leonov

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Received: 27th January 18

The lack of inversion symmetry in the crystal lattice of magnetic materials gives rise to complex non-collinear spin orders through interactions of relativistic nature, resulting in interesting physical phenomena, such as emergent electromagnetism. Studies of cubic chiral magnets revealed a universal magnetic phase diagram, composed of helical spiral, conical spiral as well as skyrmion crystal phase. Here, we report a remarkable deviation from this universal behaviour. By combining neutron diffraction with magnetisation measurements we observe a new "tilted spiral" conical state in Cu2OSeO3. In this multidomain state, the spiral wave vector is tilted away from the magnetic field direction that gives rise to strong diffuse scattering. We show that this novel state is stabilised by competing magnetocrystaline anisotropies that are generic to cubic chiral magnets.

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