Intrinsic magnetization of antiferromagnetic textures
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Original versionPhysical Review B. Condensed Matter and Materials Physics. 2016, 93 (10), . 10.1103/PhysRevB.93.104408
Antiferromagnets (AFMs) exhibit intrinsic magnetization when the order parameter spatially varies. This intrinsic spin is present even at equilibrium and can be interpreted as a twisting of the homogeneous AFM into a state with a finite spin. Because magnetic moments couple directly to external magnetic fields, the intrinsic magnetization can alter the dynamics of antiferromagnetic textures under such influence. Starting from the discrete Heisenberg model, we derive the continuum limit of the free energy of AFMs in the exchange approximation and explicitly rederive that the spatial variation of the antiferromagnetic order parameter is associated with an intrinsic magnetization density. We calculate the magnetization profile of a domain wall and discuss how the intrinsic magnetization reacts to external forces. We show conclusively, both analytically and numerically, that a spatially inhomogeneous magnetic field can move and control the position of domain walls in AFMs. By comparing our model to a commonly used alternative parametrization procedure for the continuum fields, we show that the physical interpretations of these fields depend critically on the choice of parametrization procedure for the discrete-to-continuous transition. This can explain why a significant amount of recent studies of the dynamics of AFMs, including effective models that describe the motion of antiferromagnetic domain walls, have neglected the intrinsic spin of the textured order parameter.