Effect of inversion symmetry on the incommensurate order in multiferroic R Mn2 O5 (R=rare earth)

A. B. Harris, M. Kenzelmann, Amnon Aharony, O. Entin-Wohlman

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30 Scopus citations


Starting from the irreducible representations of the group of the wave vector, we construct the spin-wave functions consistent with inversion symmetry, neglected in the usual representation analysis. We obtain the relation between the basis functions of different members of the star of the wave vector. We introduce order parameters and determine their transformation properties under the operations of the space group of the paramagnetic crystal. The results are applied to construct terms in the magnetoelectric interaction, which are quadratic and quartic in the magnetic order parameters. The higher-order magnetoelectric interactions can in principle induce components of the spontaneous polarization, which are not allowed by the lowest-order magnetoelectric interaction. We also obtain the relation between the spin-wave functions of the incommensurate phase and those of the commensurate phase, which lead to analogous relations between the order parameters of these two phases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number014407
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes


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