We give general arguments that show that the linear magnetoelectric effect in antiferromagnetic materials gives rise to a magnetocapacitance anomaly-a divergence of the dielectric constant at the magnetic ordering temperature T-N that appears in an applied magnetic field. The measurement of magnetodielectric response thus provides a definitive and experimentally accessible method to recognize antiferromagnetic linear magnetoelectric materials, circumventing the experimental difficulties often involved in measuring electric polarization. We confirm this result experimentally using the example of MnTiO3, which we show to exhibit the linear magnetoelectric effect. No dielectric anomaly is observed at T-N in the absence of an applied magnetic field. However, a sharp peak in the dielectric constant appears here when a magnetic field is applied along the c axis, reflecting a linear coupling of the polarization P with the antiferromagnetic order parameter L. In accordance with our theoretical analysis, the dielectric constant close to T-N increases with the square of the magnetic field.
|Tijdschrift||Physical Review. B: Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|Nummer van het tijdschrift||10|
|Status||Published - 22-mrt-2011|