Condensed-Matter Physics & Materials Science Seminar

"Complexity in Spin-Frustrated Rock-Salt Manganites"

Presented by Alexandros Lappas, Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser, Foundation for Research & Technology, Greece

Thursday, December 1, 2016, 1:30 pm — ISB Bldg. 734, Conf. Rm. 201 (upstairs)

Complexity in transition metal oxides is the outcome of simultaneously active electron degrees of freedom (spin-charge-orbital) and their evolution under the restrictions imposed by the geometry of the underlined crystal lattice. Consequently, the materials' response to competing states requires that we assess structural correlations across a wide range of length and time scales. Taking advantage of cutting-edge structural facilities accessed at neutron [1, 2], synchrotron X-ray [3] and electron microscopy [4] labs we address current limitations in understanding the crystallographic structure of layered rock-salt type triangular-lattice manganites of the AMnO2 type (A= Na, Cu). The unexpected coexistence of long- and short-range magnetic correlations [3, 5] due to two major opposing effects (elastic vs. magnetic exchange) of similar magnitude, lead to nearly equivalent, competing structural phases enabling infinitesimal quenched disorder to locally lift the differing degree of inherent frustration in the parent AMnO2 phase. These manganites provide a paradigm of a rarely observed nanoscale inhomogeneity in an insulating spin system, an intriguing complexity of competition due to geometrical frustration. The dramatic impact of topology and site-disorder on frustrated magnetism is further demonstrated by the hydrated variant of the NaMnO2 antiferromagnet, which gives way to a strongly interacting spin-glass state, indicative of the subtle balance of competing processes in multivalent two-dimensional systems [6].
[1] M. Giot et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 2007, 99, 247211.
[2] C. Vecchini et al., Phys. Rev. B 2010, 82, 094404.
[3] A. Zorko et al., Nat. Commun. 2014, 5, 3222.
[4] A.M. Abakumov et al., Chem. Mater. 2014, 26, 3306.
[5] A. Zorko et al., Sci. Rep. 2015, 5, 9272.
[6] I. Bakaimi et al., Phys. Rev. B 2016, 93, 184422.

Hosted by: Emil Bozin

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