Babu, S.; Prokes, K.; Huang, Y.K.; Radu, F.; Mishra, S.K.: Magnetic-field-induced incommensurate to collinear spin order transition in NiBr2. Journal of Applied Physics 125 (2019), p. 093902/1-9
Open Accesn Version

The triangular spin lattice of NiBr2 is a canonical example of the frustrated helimagnet that shows a collinear commensurate antiferromagnetic to an incommensurate spin helix phase transition on cooling. Herein, we have studied a self-flux grown NiBr2 single crystal by neutron diffraction and low temperature magnetization measurements at fields up to 14 T. Experimental findings enable the deduction of the driving force responsible for the spin spiral ordering. The neutron diffraction data reveal satellite peaks representing characteristic features of an incommensurate magnetic state. The satellites develop symmetrically below TN=44.0(1)K, replacing the main magnetic reflections. Interestingly, a field-induced incommensurate to commensurate spin phase transition has been successfully demonstrated, which enforces the spin helix to restore the high temperature compensated antiferromagnetic structure. This reorientation can be described by a spin-flop in the (a–b) basal plane of a triangular spin lattice system. The findings offer a novel way for spin helix control of incommensurate phases, having immense scientific and technological implications in the next-generation data storage devices.