Polarization and magnetism in the GaV4Se8 lacunar spinel


I will summarize efforts in the past year to calculate the polarization of skyrmion-host GaV4Se8 as it undergoes a hypothetical switching scenario between two of its rhombohedral domain states. Such a “highly distorted” path has not yet been published in the literature and can be helpful to parameterize its Landau energy surface. By using constrained noncollinear magnetism, we find an anomalous jump in the electronic polarization which appears at the central point of this trajectory – when the material is exactly of orthorhombic symmetry. This jump does not arise from changes in the charge density and it can also be shown that by carefully decoupling the ionic degrees of freedom from the trajectory that this discontinuity is solely resulting from the electronic subsystem. In addition to discussing our results, I will also summarize what other teams are publishing with respect to this interesting multiferroic family of materials.