Orthogonal magnetization and symmetry breaking in pyrochlore iridate Eu 2 Ir 2 O 7

Tian Liang, Timothy H. Hsieh, Jun J. Ishikawa, Satoru Nakatsuji, Liang Fu, N. P. Ong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Electrons in the pyrochlore iridates experience a large interaction energy in addition to a strong spin-orbit interaction. Both features make the iridates promising for realizing novel states such as the topological Mott insulator.The pyrochlore iridate Eu 2 Ir 2 O 7 shows a metal-insulator transition at T N 1/4 120 K below which a magnetically ordered state develops. Using torque magnetometry, we uncover an unusual magnetic response. A magnetic field H applied in its a-b plane produces a nonlinear magnetization M orthogonal to the plane. M displays a d-wave field-angle pattern consistent with octupolar order, with a handedness dictated by field cooling, leading to symmetry breaking of the chirality. A surprise is that the lobe orientation of the d-wave pattern is sensitive to the direction of the field when the sample is field-cooled below T N, suggestive of an additional order parameter • already present at 300 K.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)599-603
Number of pages5
JournalNature Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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