Circularly polarized soft x-ray diffraction study of helical magnetism in hexaferrite
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Magnetic spiral structures can exhibit ferroelectric moments as recently demonstrated in various multiferroic materials. In such cases the helicity of the magnetic spiral is directly correlated with the direction of the ferroelectric moment and measurement of the helicity of magnetic structures is of current interest. Soft x-ray resonant diffraction is particularly advantageous because it combines element selectivity with a large magnetic cross-section. We calculate the polarization dependence of the resonant magnetic x-ray cross-section (electric dipole transition) for the basal plane magnetic spiral in hexaferrite Ba0.8Sr1.2Zn2Fe12O22 and deduce its domain population using circular polarized incident radiation. We demonstrate there is a direct correlation between the diffracted radiation and the helicity of the magnetic spiral.
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