Complex States in Metallic Magnets
There has been a recent surge of interest in exotic magnetic states, such as spin ice in magnetic pyrochlores, or skyrmions and skyrmion crystals in helical magnets (e.g. MnSi). Due to their intricate character (complex periodic structure, or even complete lack of periodicity), experimental observation has only now become possible, with the development of appropriate experimental techniques. Active interest in materials exhibiting such states is fueled by their unusual magnetic and electronic properties, which promise to be useful for spintronic, sensing, and data storage applications. But how rare are these exotic magnetic states?
It was commonly believed that frustrated crystal structure and spin-orbit interactions are necessary to create them. I will show in this talk that these ingredients are in fact not necessary, and “exotic” states appear naturally even in the simplest models of isotropic metallic magnets. That implies that these states should be indeed quite common, leading to exciting opportunities to discover new phenomena and applications in many bulk materials and synthetic structures.