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Formation of a topological non-Fermi liquid in MnSi.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Nature
1476-4687
Publisher
Nature Publishing Group
Publication Date
Volume
497
Issue
7448
Pages
231–234
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1038/nature12023
PMID: 23636328
Source
Medline

Abstract

Fermi liquid theory provides a remarkably powerful framework for the description of the conduction electrons in metals and their ordering phenomena, such as superconductivity, ferromagnetism, and spin- and charge-density-wave order. A different class of ordering phenomena of great interest concerns spin configurations that are topologically protected, that is, their topology can be destroyed only by forcing the average magnetization locally to zero. Examples of such configurations are hedgehogs (points at which all spins are either pointing inwards or outwards) and vortices. A central question concerns the nature of the metallic state in the presence of such topologically distinct spin textures. Here we report a high-pressure study of the metallic state at the border of the skyrmion lattice in MnSi, which represents a new form of magnetic order composed of topologically non-trivial vortices. When long-range magnetic order is suppressed under pressure, the key characteristic of the skyrmion lattice--that is, the topological Hall signal due to the emergent magnetic flux associated with the topological winding--is unaffected in sign or magnitude and becomes an important characteristic of the metallic state. The regime of the topological Hall signal in temperature, pressure and magnetic field coincides thereby with the exceptionally extended regime of a pronounced non-Fermi-liquid resistivity. The observation of this topological Hall signal in the regime of the NFL resistivity suggests empirically that spin correlations with non-trivial topological character may drive a breakdown of Fermi liquid theory in pure metals.

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