Archimedean screw in driven chiral magnets

Nina del Ser, Lukas Heinen, Achim Rosch

SciPost Phys. 11, 009 (2021) · published 13 July 2021


In chiral magnets a magnetic helix forms where the magnetization winds around a propagation vector $\boldsymbol{q}$. We show theoretically that a magnetic field $\boldsymbol{B}_\perp(t) \perp \boldsymbol{q}$, which is spatially homogeneous but oscillating in time, induces a net rotation of the texture around $\boldsymbol{q}$. This rotation is reminiscent of the motion of an Archimedean screw and is equivalent to a translation with velocity $v_{screw}$ parallel to $\boldsymbol{q}$. Due to the coupling to a Goldstone mode, this non-linear effect arises for arbitrarily weak $\boldsymbol{B}_\perp(t) $ with $v_{screw} \propto |{\boldsymbol{B}_\perp}|^2$ as long as pinning by disorder is absent. The effect is resonantly enhanced when internal modes of the helix are excited and the sign of $v_{screw}$ can be controlled either by changing the frequency or the polarization of $\boldsymbol{B}_\perp(t)$. The Archimedean screw can be used to transport spin and charge and thus the screwing motion is predicted to induce a voltage parallel to $\boldsymbol{q}$. Using a combination of numerics and Floquet spin wave theory, we show that the helix becomes unstable upon increasing $\boldsymbol{B}_\perp$ forming a `time quasicrystal' which oscillates in space and time for moderately strong drive.

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