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Publication# Nonreciprocal surface acoustic wave propagation via magneto-rotation coupling

Résumé

A fundamental form of magnon-phonon interaction is an intrinsic property of magnetic materials, the “magnetoelastic coupling.” This form of interaction has been the basis for describing magnetostrictive materials and their applications, where strain induces changes of internal magnetic fields. Different from the magnetoelastic coupling, more than 40 years ago, it was proposed that surface acoustic waves may induce surface magnons via rotational motion of the lattice in anisotropic magnets. However, a signature of this magnon-phonon coupling mechanism, termed magneto-rotation coupling, has been elusive. Here, we report the first observation and theoretical framework of the magneto-rotation coupling in a perpendicularly anisotropic film Ta/CoFeB(1.6 nanometers)/MgO, which consequently induces nonreciprocal acoustic wave attenuation with an unprecedented ratio of up to 100% rectification at a theoretically predicted optimized condition. Our work not only experimentally demonstrates a fundamentally new path for investigating magnon-phonon coupling but also justifies the feasibility of the magneto-rotation coupling application.

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Harald Brune, Luca Gragnaniello, Fabian Paschke, Stefano Rusponi

We demonstrate that electrospray deposition enables the fabrication of highly periodic self-assembled arrays of Fe4H single molecule magnets on graphene/Ir(111). The energetic positions of molecular states are probed by means of scanning tunneling spectroscopy, showing pronounced long- and short-ranged spatial modulations, indicating the presence of both locally varying intermolecular as well as adsorption-site dependent molecule substrate interactions. From the magnetic field dependence of the X-ray magnetic circular dichroism signal, we infer that the magnetic easy axis of each Fe4H molecule is oriented perpendicular to the sample surface and that after the deposition the value of the uniaxial anisotropy is identical to the one in bulk. Our findings therefore suggest that the observed interaction of the molecules with their surrounding does not modify the molecular magnetism, resulting in magnets that retain their bulk magnetic properties.

This work is devoted to the study of spin S = 1 systems, and more precisely to the emergence of exotic quantum phases in such systems, and to the establishment of tools to observe such phases. It is split in four main chapters. In the first chapter, we show how spin S = 1 systems can emerge from microscopic models, and which kinds of interaction might appear in the effective spin model. We start from a two-orbital Hubbard model, and by a strong coupling development to fourth order, we derive an effective model. We will see that three types of interaction appear beyond the Heisenberg interaction : a plaquette interaction, a biquadratic interaction and a three-spin interaction. In the second chapter, we study Raman scattering on systems with quadrupolar order to show that it can be used to probe such order. We first start by deriving an effective light scattering operator following Shastry and Shraiman calculation on spin S = 1/2 systems. Using this effective operator, we compute the Raman spectra with exact diagonalization and linear flavor-wave theory. We show that two different regimes appear depending on the incoming photon energy, and that combining this to different polarizations accessible with Raman scattering, the presence of quadrupolar order can be established with this probe. The third chapter is devoted to the study of the three-spin interaction that appeared in the first chapter on a chain. We start by establishing the classical and the mean field phase diagram of this system. We then turn to the quantum case. We show that, whatever the value of the spin is, the ground state is perfectly dimerized for a particular value of the three-spin interaction. The presence of such a point in the phase diagram implies the existence of a quantum phase transition when increasing the three-spin interaction. By an intensive numerical study, we show that this transition is continuous, and that its critical behavior is the one of a SU(2)k=2S Wess-Zumino-Witten model, at least for spins S = 1/2,1,3/2,2. In the last section of this chapter, we study the phase diagram of the chain for spin S = 1 under a magnetic field. We conclude this work with a study of the three-spin interaction on a square lattice. The classical and mean field phase diagram are established. It is shown that for a large three-spin interaction, the classical ground state is highly degenerate. This degeneracy is lifted in the quantum case by a process of order by disorder. We compute the quantum fluctuations with linear spin-wave theory, and show that some phases are selected over others. We confirm these results by an exact diagonalization study of the system.

There once was a harsh competition between different computer memory technologies, and now we cheer triumph for the Random Access-Memory (RAM) devices, -- cheap, fast, tiny, stable. The competing Magnetic Bubble Memory had faded away as magnetic bubbles are undesirably large and pretty much not robust, manifesting both low data density and high operational costs. However, what we do possess now are nanosize objects of topological nature, magnetic skyrmions, which are protected from continuous field variations and take very little energy cost to be moved. Thus, skyrmions are considered as promising information carriers for future memory devices and ultradense data storage, while skyrmion phases in bulk materials are interesting from fundamental point of view in exploring topological states of matter. In this thesis, I develop and advance several effective theoretical approaches, diverse both in their methods and use, which were of appeal for several skyrmionic experiments in our lab (LQM/EPFL). We were and are primarily interested in the open issues in the applied field of skyrmionics, which may be taken under the umbrella of creation, stabilization and control of magnetic skyrmions under electric fields, mechanical strains, thermal gradients, etc. For the goals achieved and yet to be achieved, the magnetoelectric insulator Cu2OSeO3, which uniquely responses to all the above mentioned fields, is a highly advantageous candidate. Magnetoelectric here means that the spins of a magnetic material are coupled to external electric fields, while insulating properties are very advantageous to preserve both the state and the very existence of skyrmions by eliminating the Joule heating. The novel results in this thesis are calculations for both individual and arrayed skyrmions under electric fields, mechanical strains and uniform pressures, and thermal gradients. Furthermore, several fundamental questions were addressed by developing an extended formalism for calculation skyrmion-pocket phase diagrams, studying the topologically-governed crossover between skyrmions and magnetic bubbles, and discussing the possible role of merons (half-skyrmions) in skyrmion phase formation. The result with the most immediate appeal is probably the theoretical and experimental study of skyrmion lattices in electric fields, with a direct demonstration of writing and erasing of the full skyrmion phase under electric fields of few Volts per micrometer, as compatible with modern microelectronic devices.