Direct observation of magnon-phonon coupling in yttrium iron garnet
The magnetic insulator yttrium iron garnet (YIG) with a ferrimagnetic transition temperature of ∼ 560 K has been widely used in microwave and spintronic devices. Anomalous features in spin Seeback effect (SSE) voltages have been observed in Pt/YIG and attributed to magnon-phonon coupling. Here, we use inelastic neutron scattering to map out low-energy spin waves and acoustic phonons of YIG at 100 K as a function of increasing magnetic field. By comparing the zero and 9.1 T data, we find that instead of splitting and opening up gaps at the spin wave and acoustic phonon dispersion intersecting points, magnon-phonon coupling in YIG enhances the hybridized scattering intensity. These results are different from expectations of conventional spin-lattice coupling, calling for different paradigms to understand the scattering process of magnon-phonon interactions and the resulting magnon polarons.