Physical Review Letters
Vector spin chirality is one of the fundamental characteristics of complex magnets. For a one-dimensional spin-spiral state it can be interpreted as the handedness, or rotational sense of the spiral. Here, using spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscopy, we demonstrate the occurrence of an atomic-scale spin spiral in finite individual bi-atomic Fe chains on the (5×1)−Ir(001) surface. We show that the broken inversion symmetry at the surface promotes one direction of the vector spin chirality, leading to a unique rotational sense of the spiral in all chains. Correspondingly, changes in the spin direction of one chain end can be probed tens of nanometers away, suggesting a new way of transmitting information about the state of magnetic objects on the nanoscale.
Menzel, Matthias; Mokrousov, Yuriy; Wieser, Robert; Bickel, Jessica E.; Vedmedenko, Elena; Blügel, Stefan; Heinze, Stefan; von Bergmann, Kirsten; Kubetzka, André; and Wiesendanger, Roland, "Information Transfer by Vector Spin Chirality in Finite Magnetic Chains" (2012). Physics Faculty Publications. 196.
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