Photocreating supercooled spiral-spin states in a multiferroic manganite

Yu-Miin Sheu*, N. Ogawa, Y. Kaneko, Y. Tokura

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


We demonstrate that the dynamics of the ab-spiral-spin order in a magnetoelectric multiferroic Eu0.55Y0.45MnO3 can be unambiguously probed through optical second harmonic signals, generated via spin-induced ferroelectric polarization. In the case of weak excitation, the ferroelectric and the spiral-spin order remains interlocked, both relaxing through spin-lattice relaxation in the nonequilibrium state. When the additional optical pulse illuminating the sample is intense enough to induce a local phase transition thermally, the system creates a metastable state of the bc-spiral-spin order (with the electric polarization Pc) via supercooling across the first-order phase transition between the ab and bc spiral. The supercooled state of the bc-spiral spin is formed in the thermodynamical ground state of the ab spiral (Pa), displaying a prolonged lifetime with strong dependence on the magnetic field along the a axis. The observed phenomena provide a different paradigm for photoswitching between the two distinct multiferroic states, motivating further research into a direct observation of the photocreated supercooled bc-spiral spin in multiferroic manganites.

Original languageEnglish
Article number081107
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number8
StatePublished - 18 Aug 2016

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