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Alexei A. Belik, Principal Researcher's Discovery of Helical Order of Electric Dipoles

7 Aug, 2020

Discovery of helical order of electric dipoles: completing the analogy between ordering of electric and magnetic dipoles

Alexei A. Belik in front of the belt-type high-pressure, high temperature furnace

The measurement of a quadrupole perovskite material synthesized under high-pressure and high-temperature conditions at the National Institute for Materials Science (Japan) by time-of-flight neutron diffraction at the ISIS Facility (UK) led to the discovery of helical order of electric dipoles. The results have been published in the renowned journal Science.

A remarkable analogy appears between the spontaneous ordering of magnetic and electric dipoles in solid-state materials. 61 years after the discovery of helical order of magnetic dipoles, the present study, initiated by Alexei A. Belik, Principal Researcher, provides a missing part to complete the analogy.

Ordering of magnetic and electric dipoles are a driving force of phase transitions in solid-state materials that can produce many technologically important functional properties such as magnetic and ferroelectric memory elements, and in addition can lead to new complex phenomena such as multiferroicity and skyrmions.

Paper details

Title : “Emergent helical texture of electric dipoles”
Authors : Dmitry D. Khalyavin, Roger D. Johnson, Fabio Orlandi, Paolo G. Radaelli, Pascal Manuel and Alexei A. Belik
Journal : Science, 2020, Vol. 369, Issue 6504, pp. 680-684 (Online: August 7, 2020)
DOI: 10.1126/science.aay7356

Contact information

Research Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (MANA)

National Institute for Materials Science
1-1 Namiki, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0044 Japan
Phone: +81-29-860-4710
E-mail: mana-pr[AT]