Resonant X-ray diffraction (RXD) uses X-rays in the vicinity of a specific atomic absorption edge and is a powerful technique for studying symmetry breaking by motifs of various multipole moments, such as electric monopoles (charge), magnetic dipoles (spin) and electric quadrupoles (orbital). Using circularly polarized X-rays, this technique has been developed to verify symmetry breaking effects arising from chirality, the asymmetry of an object upon its mirroring. Chirality plays a crucial role in the emergence of functionalities such as optical rotatory power and multiferroicity. Here we apply spatially resolved RXD to reveal the helix chirality of Dy 4f electric quadrupole orientations and its domain structure in DyFe 3 (BO 3) 4, which shows a reversible phase transition into an enantiomorphic space-group pair. The present study provides evidence for a helix chiral motif of quadrupole moments developed in crystallographic helix chirality.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering