Domain walls in helical magnets: Elasticity and pinning
Institut für Theoretische Physik, Universität zu Köln - Zülpicher Str. 77, D-50937 Köln, Germany
Received: 22 November 2013
Accepted: 9 January 2014
Recently completely new types of domain walls (DWs) have been discovered in helical magnets, consisting generically of a regular array of pairs of magnetic vortex lines (Li F. et al., Phys. Rev. Lett., 108 (2012) 107203). Only for special orientations DWs are free of vortices. In this paper we calculate their elastic and pinning properties, using the pitch angle θ as a small parameter. In particular we show that vortex-free DWs exhibit long-range elasticity which makes them very stiff and suppresses their pinning by impurities. Their roughening transition temperature is of the order of the Néel temperature. DWs including vortices (either by orientation or due to step formation above their roughening transition) show short-range elasticity and strong pinning by impurities. These results apply both to centrosymmetric as well as to non-centrosymmetric systems. The application to chiral liquid crystals is briefly discussed.
PACS: 75.10.-b – General theory and models of magnetic ordering / 75.60.-d – Domain effects, magnetization curves, and hysteresis / 75.70.Kw – Domain structure (including magnetic bubbles and vortices)
© EPLA, 2014