Direct transition from a disordered to a multiferroic phase on a triangular lattice
Harris, A. B.
Ramirez, A. P.
Shapiro, A. Y.
Demianets, L. A.
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We report the first direct transition from a paramagnetic and paraelectric phase to an incommensurate multiferroic in the triangular lattice antiferromagnet RbFe(MoO4)2. Ferroelectricity is observed only when the magnetic structure has chirality and breaks inversion symmetry. A Landau expansion of symmetry-allowed terms in the free energy demonstrates that chiral magnetic order can give rise to a pseudoelectric field, whose temperature dependence agrees with experiment.
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