Symmetry Guide to Ferroaxial Transitions

  • Hlinka J
  • Privratska J
  • Ondrejkovic P
 et al. 
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The 212 species of the structural phase transitions with a macroscopic symmetry breaking are inspected with respect to the occurrence of the ferroaxial order parameter, the electric toroidal moment. In total, 124 ferroaxial species are found, some of them being also fully ferroelectric (62) or fully ferroelastic ones (61). This ensures a possibility of electrical or mechanical switching of ferroaxial domains. Moreover, there are 12 ferroaxial species that are neither ferroelectric nor ferroelastic. For each species, we have also explicitly worked out a canonical form for a set of representative equilibrium property tensors of polar and axial nature in both high-symmetry and low-symmetry phases. This information was gathered into the set of 212 mutually different symbolic matrices, expressing graphically the presence of nonzero independent tensorial components and the symmetry-imposed links between them, for both phases simultaneously. Symmetry analysis reveals the ferroaxiality in several currently debated materials, such as VO2, LuFe2O4, and URu2Si2.

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  • J. Hlinka

  • J. Privratska

  • P. Ondrejkovic

  • V. Janovec

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