Antiferromagnetic real-space configuration probed by dichroism in scattered x-ray beams with orbital angular momentum

Margaret R. McCarter, Ahmad I.U. Saleheen, Arnab Singh, Ryan Tumbleson, Justin S. Woods, Anton S. Tremsin, Andreas Scholl, Lance E. De Long, J. Todd Hastings, Sophie A. Morley, Sujoy Roy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


X-ray beams with orbital angular momentum (OAM) are a promising tool for x-ray characterization techniques. Beams with OAM have a helicity - an azimuthally varying phase - which leads to a gradient of the light field. New material properties can be probed by utilizing the helicity of an OAM beam. Here, we demonstrate a dichroic effect in resonant diffraction from an artificial antiferromagnet with a topological defect. We found that the scattered OAM beam has circular dichroism at the antiferromagnetic Bragg peak whose sign is coupled to its helicity, which reveals the real-space configuration of the antiferromagnetic ground state. Thermal cycling of the artificial antiferromagnet can change the ground state, as indicated by reversal of the sign of circular dichroism. This result is one of the first demonstrations of a soft x-ray spectroscopy characterization technique utilizing the OAM of x rays. This helicity-dependent circular dichroism exemplifies the potential to utilize OAM beams to probe matter in a way that is inaccessible using currently available x-ray techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL060407
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 American Physical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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