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Revealing hidden magneto-electric multipoles using Compton scattering

Sayantika Bhowal1*, Nicola A. Spaldin1*

1 Materials Theory, ETH Zurich, Wolfgang-Pauli-Strasse 27, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland

* Corresponding authors emails: sayantika.bhowal@mat.ethz.ch, nicola.spaldin@mat.ethz.ch
DOI10.24435/materialscloud:wc-5z [version v1]

Publication date: Jul 23, 2021

How to cite this record

Sayantika Bhowal, Nicola A. Spaldin, Revealing hidden magneto-electric multipoles using Compton scattering, Materials Cloud Archive 2021.117 (2021), doi: 10.24435/materialscloud:wc-5z.


Magneto-electric multipoles, which are odd under both space-inversion 𝓘 and time-reversal 𝓣 symmetries, are fundamental in understanding and characterizing magneto-electric materials. However, the detection of these magneto-electric multipoles is often not straightforward as they remain "hidden" in conventional experiments in part since many magneto-electrics exhibit combined 𝓘𝓣 symmetry. In the present work, we show that the anti-symmetric Compton profile is a unique signature for all the magneto-electric multipoles, since the asymmetric magnetization density of the magneto-electric multipoles couples to space via spin-orbit coupling, resulting in an anti-symmetric Compton profile. We develop the key physics of the anti-symmetric Compton scattering using symmetry analysis and demonstrate it using explicit first-principles calculations for two well-known representative materials with magneto-electric multipoles, insulating LiNiPO₄ and metallic Mn₂Au. Our work emphasizes the crucial roles of the orientation of the spin moments, the spin-orbit coupling, and the band structure in generating the anti-symmetric Compton profile in magneto-electric materials.

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Magneto-electric multipoles Compton scattering density-functional theory LiNiPO4 Mn2Au ERC H2020 Horizon Europe

Version history:

2021.117 (version v1) [This version] Jul 23, 2021 DOI10.24435/materialscloud:wc-5z