Origin of ferroelectric polarization in spiral magnetic structure of MnWO(4)
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Magnetism and the origin of ferroelectricity in the multiferroic MnWO(4) are studied using ab initio electronic-structure calculations, correctly reproducing the magnetic ground state. The calculated ferroelectric polarization is in good agreement with experiments. Our results reveal that spin-orbit interaction is necessary and sufficient to explain the observed ferroelectric polarization, establishing an entirely electronic origin of ferroelectricity in MnWO(4). The origin of spin-orbit interaction in this compound with a nominally d(5) L=0 orbitally quenched state is elucidated by analyzing results of x-ray absorption spectroscopy.
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