Dynamic axion field in the magnetoelectric antiferromagnet chromia

Junlei Wang, Chao Lei, Allan H. MacDonald and Christian Binek

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Jan 25, 2019
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Received Date: 11th January 19

Chromia is a magnetoelectric insulator whose bulk magnetoelectric susceptibility contains a non-zero pseudoscalar component, like that present in magnetized topological insulators. We reveal the dynamic axion field of chromia by measuring the temperature dependence of its non-linear magnetoelectric response using a lock-in technique with an AC electric field stimulus.  The electric field dependence, magnetic field dependence, and temperature behavior of the second harmonic lock-in signal are all in agreement with theoretical expectations.  Our results demonstrate that chromia’s magnetoelectric response couples strongly to its low-energy quantum and thermal spin fluctuations.

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