Magnets with chiral crystal structures and helical spin structures have recently attracted much attention as potential spin-electronics materials, but their relatively low magnetic-ordering temperatures are a disadvantage. While cobalt has long been recognized as an element that promotes higherature magnetic ordering, most Co-rich alloys are achiral and exhibit collinear rather than helimagnetic order. Crystallographically, the B20-ordered compound CoSi is an exception due to its chiral structure, but it does not exhibit any kind of magnetic order. Here, we use nonequilibrium processing to produce B20-ordered Co1+xSi1-x with a maximum Co solubility of x=0.043. Above a critical excess-Co content (xc=0.028), the alloys are magnetically ordered, and for x=0.043, a critical temperature Tc=328 K is obtained, the highest among all B20-type magnets. The crystal structure of the alloy supports spin spirals caused by Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interactions, and from magnetic measurements we estimate that the spirals have a periodicity of about 17 nm. Our density-functional calculations explain the combination of high magnetic-ordering temperature and short periodicity in terms of a quantum phase transition where excess-cobalt spins are coupled through the host matrix.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)