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An optically active spiral

2021 
Multiferroics The material cupric oxide exhibits magnetoelectric coupling, meaning that its magnetic properties can be controlled by electric fields. In its spin spiral phase, cupric oxide has a spiral magnetic ordering that can be right- or left-handed. Masuda et al. used electric fields to create purely left- or right-handed samples and then studied their optical activity. The samples exhibited natural optical activity, which the researchers were then able to control with electric fields. Science , this issue p. [496][1] [1]: /lookup/doi/10.1126/science.aaz4312
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