Date of this Version
PHYSICAL REVIEW B 79, 134425 (2009)
In order to investigate spin-charge coupling in multiferroic oxides, we measured the optical properties of BiFeO3. Although the direct 300 K charge gap is observed at 2.67 eV, absorption onset actually occurs at much lower energy with Fe3+ excitations at 1.41 and 1.90 eV. Temperature and magnetic-field-induced spectral changes reveal complex interactions between on-site crystal-field and magnetic excitations in the form of magnon sidebands. We employ the sensitivity of these magnon sidebands to map out the magnetic-fieldtemperature phase diagram which demonstrates optical evidence for spin spiral quenching above 20 T and suggests a spin domain reorientation near 10 T.