Multiferroic (ferroelastic/ferromagnetic/ferrimagnetic) aspects of phase transitions in RCo2 Laves phases

Driver, S. L. and Herrero-Albillos, J. and Bonilla, C. M. and Bartolomé, L. M. and Howard, C. J. and Carpenter, M. A. (2014) Multiferroic (ferroelastic/ferromagnetic/ferrimagnetic) aspects of phase transitions in RCo2 Laves phases. Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, 26 (5). 056001. ISSN 0953-8984, 1361-648X DOI

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Magnetic phase transitions in RCo2 Laves phases with R as a rare earth element are accompanied by changes in crystallographic space group. For purely structural transitions they would be described as improper ferroelastic and therefore fulfil the condition for multiferroic phase transitions in combining two out of three properties, ferro/antiferromagnetism, ferroelectricity and ferroelasticity. Here lattice parameter data from the literature and new measurements of elastic and anelastic properties, by resonant ultrasound spectroscopy, for NdCo2 and ErCo2 have been analysed from this perspective. The temperature dependence of symmetry-breaking shear strains is consistent with the cubic <-> tetragonal transition in NdCo2 being close to tricritical in character and the cubic <-> rhombohedral transition in ErCo2 being first order. Elastic softening and acoustic loss within the stability ranges of the ferroelastic phases can be understood in terms of a combination of intrinsic softening due to strain/order parameter coupling and ferroelastic twin-wall motion. Softening ahead of the transitions does not fit with standard macroscopic descriptions of dynamic effects from other systems but, rather, in the case of NdCo2, might be attributed to the involvement of a second zone centre order parameter related to a separate instability driven by cooperative Jahn–Teller distortions. In ErCo2, acoustic loss in the temperature interval above the transition point is discussed in terms of a possible tweed microstructure associated with strain coupling to local magnetic ordering. The overall multiferroic behaviour can be understood in terms of a single magnetic order parameter (irrep of magnetic space group ) which couples with a structural order parameter (irrep or ). The coupling is linear/quadratic which, in the case of two separate instabilities, causes them to combine in a single multiferroic phase transition.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2013AREP; IA67; PhD;
Subjects: 03 - Mineral Sciences
Divisions: 03 - Mineral Sciences
12 - PhD
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter
Volume: 26
Page Range: 056001
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2014 15:42
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2019 12:12

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