In this work we show the very different nature of the ferromagnetic state of the low-hole-doped manganites with respect to other manganites showing colossal magnetoresistance. High-field measurements definitively prove the coexistence of ferromagnetic-metallic and ferromagnetic-insulating regions even when the sample is magnetically saturated, with the ground state being inhomogeneous. We have investigated La0.9Ca0.1MnO3 as a prototype compound. A wide characterization by means of magnetic and magnetotransport measurements, neutron diffraction, small-angle neutron scattering, and nuclear magnetic resonance has allowed us to establish that the ground state is based on the existence of disordered nanometric double-exchange metallic clusters that coexist with long-range superexchange-based ferromagnetic insulating regions. Under high magnetic field the system reaches magnetization saturation by aligning the magnetic clusters and the insulating matrix, but even if they grow in size, they do not reach the percolation limit.
|Number of pages
|Physical Review. B, Condensed matter and materials physics
|Published - 1 Apr 2003
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