Ferrimagnetic/ferroelastic domain interactions in magnetite below the Verwey transition. Part I: electron holography and Lorentz microscopy

Takeshi Kasama, R. J. Harrison, N. S. Church, M. Nagao, J. M. Feinberg, Rafal E. Dunin-Borkowski

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    The crystallographic and magnetic microstructure of magnetite (Fe3O4) below the Verwey transition (120 K) is studied using transmission electron microscopy. The low temperature phase is found to have a monoclinic C-centered lattice with a c-glide plane perpendicular to the b-axis, which allows twin-related crystal orientations to be distinguished. Off-axis electron holography and Lorentz electron microscopy are used to show that magnetic domains present at room temperature become subdivided into sub-micron-sized magnetic domains below the Verwey transition, with the magnetization direction in each magnetic domain oriented along the monoclinic [001] axis. The nature of the interactions between the magnetic domain walls and the ferroelastic twin walls is investigated. Cooling and warming cycles through the transition temperature are used to show that a memory effect is likely to exist between the magnetic states that form above and below the transition. Our results suggest that ferroelastic twin walls have a strong influence on the low temperature magnetic properties of magnetite.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPhase Transitions
    Volume86
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)67-87
    ISSN0141-1594
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Keywords

    • Magnetite
    • Verwey transition
    • Low temperature magnetic properties
    • Ferroelastic twins
    • Multiferroics
    • Transmission electron microscopy

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