We show clear evidence that the local magnetoelectric (ME) effect arising from the noncentrosymmetric magnetic sites can be element-specifically detected by using the resonant x-ray ME scattering (XMES), even in systems where the space-inversion (I) or the time-reversal (R) symmetry is globally restored. At the (222) reflection in a centrosymmetric spinel oxide MnCr2 O4, where the conventional Mn-resonant x-ray magnetic scattering is forbidden, we have observed a resonant magnetic signal at the intra-atomic 1s-3d absorption edge of Mn ions on tetrahedral sites, which is uniquely attributed to the XMES. This unique x-ray scattering is caused by a transfer of the spectral weight between the electric dipole (E1) and electric quadrupole (E2) transitions through the spin-orbit coupling. The possibility of the important application utilizing the ME scattering technique is discussed as well.
|Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
|Published - 2009 May 1