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Description of Symmetry-Breaking Effects in Curvilinear Ferromagnetic Shells
The behaviour of any physical system is governed by the order parameter, determined by the geometry of the physical space of the object, namely their dimensionality and curvature. Usually, the effects of curvature are described using local interactions only, e.g. local spin-orbit- or curvature-induced Rashba and Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interactions (DMI). In the specific case of ferromagnetism, until recently, there was no analytical framework, which was treating curvature effects stemming from local  and non-local  interactions on the same footing. The lack of a proper theoretical foundation impedes the description of essential micromagnetic textures like magnetic domains, skyrmion-bubbles and vortices. Here, we present a micromagnetic theory of curvilinear ferromagnetic shells, which allows to describe the geometry-driven effects stemming from exchange and magnetostatics within the same framework . A general description of magnetic curvilinear shells can be done using tangential derivatives of the unit magnetization vector. Tangential derivatives are represented by the covariant derivatives of in-surface components and the regular derivative of the normal magnetization component, normalized by the square root of the corresponding metric tensor coefficient. This allows to separate the explicit effects of curvature and spurious effects of the reference frame. The shape of a given thin shell can be determined by two principal curvatures k1 and k2, which are functions of coordinate. The respective classification of curvilinear surfaces operates with (i) developable surfaces, where one of the principal curvatures equals to zero; (ii) minimal ones, where the mean curvature k1 + k2 = 0; and (iii) the general case. The local geometry-driven energy contributions are represented by the DMI and anisotropy, whose coefficients are determined by powers of the principal curvatures. This allows to cancel the influence of one of the DMI terms for the developable surfaces for any magnetic texture. The magnetostatic interaction is a source of new chiral effects, which are essentially non-local in contrast to the conventional DMI. The physical origin is the non-zero mean curvature of a shell and the non-equivalence between the top and bottom surfaces of the shell. We demonstrate that the analysis of non-local effects in curvilinear thin shells can become more straightforward when introducing three magnetostatic charges. In this respect, in contrast to the classical approach by Brown , we split a conventional volume magnetostatic charge into two terms: (i) magnetostatic charge, governed by the tangent to the sample’s surface, and (ii) geometrical charge, given by the normal component of magnetization and the mean curvature. In addition to the shape anisotropy (local effect), there appear four additional non-local terms, determined by the surface curvature. Three of them are zero for any magnetic texture in shells with the geometry of minimal surfaces. The fourth term is determined by the non-equivalence of the top and bottom surfaces of the shell and becomes zero only for the special symmetries of magnetic textures. The discovered non-local magnetochiral effects introduce handedness in an intrinsically achiral material and enables the design of magneto-electric and ferro-toroidic responses. This will stimulate to rethink the origin of chiral effects in different systems, e.g. in fundamentally appealing and technologically relevant skyrmionic systems, and further theoretical investigations in the field of curvilinear magnetism as well as experimental validation of these theoretical predictions. These developments will pave the way towards new device ideas relying on curvature effects in magnetic nanostructures. The impact of effects predicted in this work goes well beyond the magnetism community. Our description of the vector field behaviour can be applied to different emergent field of studies of curvature effects. The prospective applications include curved superconductors , twisted graphene bilayers , flexible ferroelectrics , curved liquid crystals .
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Keywords: curvilinear magnetism; magnetostatics; curvilinear geometry
IEEE International Magnetic Virtual Conference INTERMAG21, 26.-30.04.2021, Online, Online