1/3 magnetization plateau and frustrated ferrimagnetism in a sodium iron phosphite

A Vasiliev, O Volkova, E Zvereva, E Ovchenkov, Irene Munao', Lucy Mary Clark, Philip Lightfoot, E Vavilova, S Kamusella, H Klaus, J Werner, C Koo, R Klingeler, A Tsirlin

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The sodium-iron phosphite NaFe3(HPO3)2(H2PO3)6 is studied by ac-magnetic susceptibility, pulsed-field magnetization, specific heat, and high-frequency electron spin resonance (HF-ESR) measurements combined with Mössbauer spectroscopy and density-functional calculations. We show that this compound develops ferrimagnetic order below TC = 9.5 K and reveals a magnetization plateau at 1/3-saturation. The plateau extends to Bc ~ 8 T, whereas above Bc the magnetization increases linearly until reaching saturation at Bs ~ 27 T. The Mössbauer spectroscopy reveals two magnetically non-equivalent iron sites with the 2:1 ratio. The HF-ESR spectra are consistent with a two-sublattice ferrimagnet and additionally pinpoint weak magnetic anisotropy as well as short-range spin order that persists well above TC. The ferrimagnetic order in the title compound is stabilized by a network of purely antiferromagnetic exchange interactions. The spin lattice comprises layers coinciding with the crystallographic (10-1) planes, with stronger couplings Ji ~ 1.5 K within the layers and weaker couplings Ji = 0.3−0.4 K between the layers. Both intralayer and interlayer couplings are frustrated. The ensuing ferrimagnetic order arises from a subtle interplay of the frustrated but nonequivalent exchange couplings.
Original languageEnglish
Article number134401
JournalPhysical Review. B, Condensed matter and materials physics
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


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