Anomalous magnetic structure and spin dynamics in magnetoelectric LiFePO4

Rasmus Toft-Petersen, Manfred Reehuis, Thomas Bagger Stibius Jensen, Niels Hessel Andersen, Jiying Li, Manh Duc Le, Mark Laver, Christof Niedermayer, Bastian Klemke, Kim Lefmann, David Vaknin

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We report significant details of the magnetic structure and spin dynamics of LiFePO4 obtained by single-crystal neutron scattering. Our results confirm a previously reported collinear rotation of the spins away from the principal b axis, and they determine that the rotation is toward the a axis. In addition, we find a significant spin-canting component along c. The possible causes of these components are discussed, and their significance for the magnetoelectric effect is analyzed. Inelastic neutron scattering along the three principal directions reveals a highly anisotropic hard plane consistent with earlier susceptibility measurements. Using a spin Hamiltonian, we show that the spin dimensionality is intermediate between XY- and Ising-like, with an easy b axis and a hard c axis. It is shown that both next-nearest neighbor exchange couplings in the bc plane are in competition with the strongest nearest neighbor coupling.
Original languageEnglish
Article number024404
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number2
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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