Volume 81, Number 6, March 2008
Article Number 66003
Number of page(s) 5
Section Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties
Published online 25 February 2008
EPL, 81 (2008) 66003
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/81/66003

Spin structure of nanocrystalline gadolinium

A. Michels1, F. Döbrich1, M. Elmas1, A. Ferdinand1, J. Markmann1, M. Sharp2, H. Eckerlebe2, J. Kohlbrecher3 and R. Birringer1

1  Technische Physik, Universität des Saarlandes - Saarbrücken, Germany
2  GKSS Forschungszentrum - Geesthacht, Germany
3  Paul Scherrer Institute - CH-5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland

received 28 November 2007; accepted in final form 29 January 2008; published March 2008
published online 25 February 2008

We report on magnetic-field$\hbox{--} $dependent small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) experiments on nanocrystalline inert-gas condensed bulk Gd, which was synthesized using the low-capturing isotope 160Gd. The angular dependency of the scattering cross-section is in very good agreement with recent theoretical predictions. Rather unexpected for this type of material, we observe a "clover-leaf$\hbox{--} $shaped" anisotropy in the SANS signal, the origin of which is attributed to the existence of longitudinal magnetization fluctuations associated with atomic site disorder and modified coupling inside the defect cores of grain boundaries.

61.05.fg - Neutron scattering including small-angle scattering.
75.25.+z - Spin arrangements in magnetically ordered materials (including neutron and spin-polarized electron studies, synchrotron-source X-ray scattering, etc.).
75.50.Tt - Fine-particle systems; nanocrystalline materials.

© EPLA 2008