Antiferromagnetic domains and the spin-flop transition of MnF2
Argonne National Laboratory - Argonne, IL 60439, USA
Accepted: 4 October 1996
In antiferromagnetic the magnetic moments of manganese are aligned along the tetragonal axis of the rutile structure. In a magnetic field HSF along that axis (9.27 T at 4.2 K) the antiferromagnetic moments flop in the basal plane. Polarized neutron diffraction measurements showed that at about HSF the entire crystal becomes aligned in a single antiferromagnetic domain, which persists even after the field is suppressed. The effect is due to a minute misalignment (a fraction of degree) of the applied field with the tetragonal axis of the crystal. The ensuing breakdown of symmetry at the spin-flop transition provides a way to control domains in this type of antiferromagnet.
PACS: 75.25.+z – Spin arrangements in magnetically ordered materials (including neutron and spin-polarized electron studies, synchrotron-source X-ray scattering, etc.) / 75.30.Kz – Magnetic phase boundaries (including magnetic transitions, metamagnetism, etc.) / 75.60.-d – Domain effects, magnetization curves, and hysteresis
© EDP Sciences, 1996