The chiral magnet CrNb3S6 with its solitonic objects has novel magnetic and transport properties, in which the spin-orbit coupling (SOC) plays a central role. Aiming to address the possible existence of orbital moments driven by SOC, we perform soft x-ray magnetic circular dichroism spectroscopy at the Cr L2,3 edges with in-plane magnetization. The dichroic signals provide direct experimental evidence that the Cr orbital magnetic moment is not quenched and is coupled antiparallel to the spin counterpart. Application of the orbital sum rule reveals that the magnitude of the Cr orbital moment is about 1% of the total magnetization. These findings are consistent with the first-principles electronic structure calculations that utilize the Cr 2p core radial function to define the Cr local 3d quantities. The distinct roles of the atomic SOC among the Cr 3d and Nb 4d states are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics