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Structural Chirality of Polar Skyrmions Probed by Resonant Elastic X-Ray Scattering

McCarter, MR and Kim, KT and Stoica, VA and Das, S and Klewe, C and Donoway, EP and Burn, DM and Shafer, P and Rodolakis, F and Gonçalves, MAP and Gómez-Ortiz, F and �ñiguez, J and García-Fernández, P and Junquera, J and Lovesey, SW and Van Der Laan, G and Park, SY and Freeland, JW and Martin, LW and Lee, DR and Ramesh, R (2022) Structural Chirality of Polar Skyrmions Probed by Resonant Elastic X-Ray Scattering. In: Physical Review Letters, 129 (24).

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.129.247601


An escalating challenge in condensed-matter research is the characterization of emergent order-parameter nanostructures such as ferroelectric and ferromagnetic skyrmions. Their small length scales coupled with complex, three-dimensional polarization or spin structures makes them demanding to trace out fully. Resonant elastic x-ray scattering (REXS) has emerged as a technique to study chirality in spin textures such as skyrmions and domain walls. It has, however, been used to a considerably lesser extent to study analogous features in ferroelectrics. Here, we present a framework for modeling REXS from an arbitrary arrangement of charge quadrupole moments, which can be applied to nanostructures in materials such as ferroelectrics. With this, we demonstrate how extended reciprocal space scans using REXS with circularly polarized x rays can probe the three-dimensional structure and chirality of polar skyrmions. Measurements, bolstered by quantitative scattering calculations, show that polar skyrmions of mixed chirality coexist, and that REXS allows valuation of relative fractions of right- and left-handed skyrmions. Our quantitative analysis of the structure and chirality of polar skyrmions highlights the capability of REXS for establishing complex topological structures toward future application exploits. © 2022 American Physical Society.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Physical Review Letters
Publisher: American Physical Society
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to American Physical Society.
Keywords: Domain walls; Ferroelectric materials; Nanostructures; Textures; X ray scattering, Condensed matter; Ferromagnetics; Length scale; Order parameter; Polarization structures; Skyrmions; Spin structures; Spin textures; Structural chirality; X -ray scattering, Chirality
Department/Centre: Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Physics
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2023 05:19
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2023 05:19
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/79186

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