Spontaneous decays of magneto-elastic excitations in non-collinear antiferromagnet (Y,Lu)MnO3.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms13146
Magnons and phonons are fundamental quasiparticles in a solid and can be coupled together to form a hybrid quasi-particle. However, detailed experimental studies on the underlying Hamiltonian of this particle are rare for actual materials. Moreover, the anharmonicity of such magnetoelastic excitations remains largely unexplored, although it is essential for a proper understanding of their diverse thermodynamic behaviour and intrinsic zero-temperature decay. Here we show that in non-collinear antiferromagnets, a strong magnon-phonon coupling can significantly enhance the anharmonicity, resulting in the creation of magnetoelastic excitations and their spontaneous decay. By measuring the spin waves over the full Brillouin zone and carrying out anharmonic spin wave calculations using a Hamiltonian with an explicit magnon-phonon coupling, we have identified a hybrid magnetoelastic mode in (Y,Lu)MnO3 and quantified its decay rate and the exchange-striction coupling term required to produce it.