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Multiferroicity in geometrically frustrated α - M Cr 2 O 4 systems ( M = Ca, Sr, Ba)

Abstract : We have successfully synthesized three quasi-two-dimensional geometrically frustrated magnetic compounds (α-MCr2O4, M= Ca, Sr, Ba) using the spark-plasma-sintering technique. All these members of the α-MCr2O4 family consist of the stacking planar triangular lattices of Cr3+ spins (S=3/2), separated by nonmagnetic alkaline-earth ions. Their corresponding magnetic susceptibility, specific heat, dielectric permittivity, and ferroelectric polarization are systematically investigated. A long-range magnetic ordering arises below the Néel temperature (around 40 K) in each member of the α-MCr2O4 family, which changes to the quasi-120∘ proper-screw-type helical spin structure at low temperature. A very small but confirmed spontaneous electric polarization emerges concomitantly with this magnetic ordering. The direction of electric polarization is found within the basal triangular plane. The multiferroicity in α-MCr2O4 can not be explained within the frameworks of the magnetic exchange striction or the inverse Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction. The observed results are more compatible with the newly proposed Arima mechanism that is associated with the d-p hybridization between the ligand and transition-metal ions, modified by the spin-orbit coupling. The evolution of multiferroic properties with the increasing interplanar spacing (as M changes from Ca to Ba) reveals the importance of interlayer interaction in this new family of frustrated magnetic systems.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, August 6, 2019 - 11:07:59 AM
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Li. Zhao, Tian-Wey Lan, Kuen-Jen Wang, Chia-Hua Chien, Tsu-Lien Hung, et al.. Multiferroicity in geometrically frustrated α - M Cr 2 O 4 systems ( M = Ca, Sr, Ba). Physical Review B: Condensed Matter and Materials Physics (1998-2015), American Physical Society, 2012, 86 (6), pp.064408. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevB.86.064408⟩. ⟨hal-02264054⟩



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