Ferroelectricity Induced by Acentric Spin-Density Waves in YMn2O5

L.C. Chapon, P.G. Radaelli, G.R. Blake, S. Park, S.-W. Cheong

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The commensurate and incommensurate magnetic structures of the magnetoelectric system YMn2O5, as determined from neutron diffraction, were found to be spin-density waves lacking a global center of symmetry. We propose a model, based on a simple magnetoelastic coupling to the lattice, which enables us to predict the polarization based entirely on the observed magnetic structure. Our data accurately reproduce the temperature dependence of the spontaneous polarization, particularly its sign reversal at the commensurate-incommensurate transition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)097601-1-097601-4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • magnetic structure
  • neutron diffraction
  • yttrium compounds
  • magnetoelectric effects
  • ferroelectricity
  • spin density waves
  • commensurate-incommensurate transformations

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