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Magnetic order, hysteresis, and phase coexistence in magnetoelectric LiCoPO4

TitleMagnetic order, hysteresis, and phase coexistence in magnetoelectric LiCoPO4
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsFogh, E, Toft-Petersen, R, Ressouche, E, Niedermayer, C, Holm, SL, Bartkowiak, M, Prokhnenko, O, Sloth, S, Isaksen, FW, Vaknin, D, Christensen, NB
JournalPhysical Review B
Date Published09
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number2469-9950
Accession NumberWOS:000410862600004
Keywordsdevils, frustrated magnets, linipo4, lithium batteries, phospho-olivines, physics, staircase

The magnetic phase diagram of magnetoelectric LiCoPO4 is established using neutron diffraction and magnetometry in fields up to 25.9 T applied along the crystallographic b axis. For fields greater than 11.9 T, the magnetic unit cell triples in size with propagation vector Q = (0, 1/3,0). A magnetized elliptic cycloid is formed with spins in the (b, c) plane and the major axis oriented along b. Such a structure allows for the magnetoelectric effect with an electric polarization along c induced by magnetic fields applied along b. Intriguingly, additional ordering vectors Q approximate to (0, 1/4,0) and Q approximate to (0, 1/2,0) appear for increasing fields in the hysteresis region below the transition field. Traces of this behavior are also observed in the magnetization. A simple model based on a mean-field approach is proposed to explain these additional ordering vectors. In the field interval 20.5-21.0 T, the propagation vectorQ = (0, 1/3,0) remains but the spins orient differently compared to the cycloid phase. Above 21.0 T and up until saturation, a commensurate magnetic structure exists with a ferromagnetic component along b and an antiferromagnetic component along c.

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