The nature of the spin-flop (SF) transition in the magnetoelectric quasi-2D Heisenberg system LiMnPO4 is studied in fields applied along the a axis. A refinement of the magnetic structure using neutron diffraction data in the SF phase reveals that the spins reorient from being parallel to the a axis to be nearly along the c axis at magnetic fields between 4 and 4.7 T, depending on temperature. The low-field antiferromagnetic phase boundary is shown to join the spin-flop line tangentially at the so-called bicritical point, where there is a suppression of the ordering temperature. At the bicritical field, we observe an increased intensity of the Lorentz broadened elastic scattering at magnetic Bragg peaks above TN as compared to zero field and 10 T, without an increase in peak width. This suggests an increased density of fluctuations at the bicritical field as compared to zero field.
- TETRACRITICAL POINTS
- WEAK FERROMAGNETISM