We present a combined polarized neutron and x-ray scattering study on two enantiopure langasite single crystals aimed at the determination of their absolute structural and magnetic chiralities and the coupling between them. Our respective data sets unambiguously reveal two samples of opposite structural chirality, where the magnetic handedness is pinned by the structural one. Simple energy considerations of the magnetic exchange and single-ion anisotropy parameters reveal that it is not the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction but the local single-ion anisotropy on a triangular plaquette which plays a key role in stabilizing one of the two magnetic helices.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics