Real-Space Observation of Helical Spin Order

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Science  20 Jan 2006:
Vol. 311, Issue 5759, pp. 359-361
DOI: 10.1126/science.1120639

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Helical spin order in magnetic materials has been investigated only in reciprocal space. We visualized the helical spin order and dynamics in a metal silicide in real space by means of Lorentz electron microscopy. The real space of the helical spin order proves to be much richer than that expected from the averaged structure; it exhibits a variety of magnetic defects similar to atomic dislocations in the crystal lattice. The application of magnetic fields allows us to directly observe the deformation processes of the helical spin order accompanied by nucleation, movement, and annihilation of the magnetic defects.

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