Comparative study of the field-induced and spontaneous AF2' multiferroic phases in MnWO4 and Mn0.90Co0.10WO4 within the magnetic symmetry framework

Irene Urcelay-Olabarria,*, José Luis García-Muñoz, Eric Ressouche, Alexander A. Mukhin and Vassil Skumryev. Journal of Applied Crystallography Volume 49Issue 2pages 520–527April 2016. DOI: 10.1107/S1600576716000881<

(Mn,Co)WO4 compounds are regarded as reference spin-induced multiferroics. A comparative study is presented here, within the magnetic symmetry framework, of the incommensurate magnetic orders responsible for the ferroelectric phases of (i) MnWO4 under a magnetic field (H || b) and (ii) Mn0.90Co0.10WO4 in the absence of an external field. On the one hand, although these two ferroelectric phases are stabilized under different external physical conditions, both present the same Xc1′(α0γ)ss magnetic symmetry and practically the same modulation vector. The magnetic ordering in both phases is an elliptical helix with the magnetic moments (as the polarization vector, P) perpendicular to the b axis, although in most of the ferroelectric compositions of the (Mn,Co)WO4 family the spins rotate in planes containing b (and have P || b). On the other hand, the anisotropy of the resulting magnetic modulations is extraordinarily different in the two phases. This is described and explained in the light of the different anisotropies of Co and Mn ions.


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