, Volume 71, Issue 3, pp 355-360
Date: 30 Jun 2009

Anisotropy of antiferromagnetic 180° domains in magnetoelectric LiMPO4 (M = Fe, Co, Ni)

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An unusual variety of magnetic, magnetoelectric and ferrotoroidic properties was observed in the lithium-orthophosphates LiMPO4 with M = Fe, Co, Ni by optical second harmonic generation. In spite of a largely similar magnetic and crystallographic structure the compounds exhibit pronounced differences in the topology of antiferromagnetic 180° domains. In LiCoPO4 the antiferromagnetic domains coexist with ferrotoroidic, i.e., magnetic vortex domains. For LiNiPO4 it was shown that the weak ferrimagnetic moment of the LiMPO4 compounds along the spin direction is rigidly coupled to the AFM order parameter so that the sign of the magnetoelectric effect is reversed by a magnetic field only. Further effects of a static magnetic field on the system are discussed.