Condensed Matter Physics Seminar

2 p.m., Thursday, March 2, 2006
Room 1201, Physics Building

 Neutron Scattering Studies of a Multiferroic: Spin waves and Magnetic Order in HoMnO3

Owen Vajk

(NIST Gaithersburg)

Abstract:  Although there are many ferroelectric and magnetic materials, very few have simultaneous magnetic and ferroelectric order. Among this rare class of solids, known as mutiferroics, only a select few exhibit significant coupling between the magnetic and ferroelectric properties. These exotic materials have attracted added attention recently because of the possibility of using these coupled order parameters in novel device applications. We have performed neutron scattering studies of HoMnO3, a multiferroic which exhibits significant magnetic-ferroelectric coupling. Field-dependent diffraction measurements reveal a complex phase diagram with multiple spin reorientation transitions. Inelastic measurements are used to establish the primary magnetic interactions, and also give clues about the possible origin of the ferroelectric-magnetic coupling. Our results are crucial first steps towards a fuller understanding of the interaction between magnetism and ferroelectricity in this complex multiferroic material.
Host:  Drew
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