Ferromagnetism versus slow paramagnetic relaxation in Fe-doped Li3N

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2018-02-01
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Fix, M.
Jesche, A.
Jantz, S. G.
Bräuninger, S. A.
Klauss, H.-H.
Manna, R. S.
Pietsch, I. M.
Höppe, H. A.
Canfield, Paul
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Ames National Laboratory

Ames National Laboratory is a government-owned, contractor-operated national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), operated by and located on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

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Physics and Astronomy
Physics and astronomy are basic natural sciences which attempt to describe and provide an understanding of both our world and our universe. Physics serves as the underpinning of many different disciplines including the other natural sciences and technological areas.
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Abstract

We report on isothermal magnetization, Mossbauer spectroscopy, and magnetostriction as well as temperature-dependent alternating-current (ac) susceptibility, specific heat, and thermal expansion of single crystalline and polycrystalline Li-2(Li1-xFex)N with x = 0 and x approximate to 0.30. Magnetic hysteresis emerges at temperatures below T approximate to 50 K with coercivity fields of up to mu H-0 = 11.6 T at T = 2 K and magnetic anisotropy energies of 310 K (27 meV). The ac susceptibility is strongly frequency-dependent (f = 10-10 000 Hz) and reveals an effective energy barrier for spin reversal of Delta E approximate to 1100 K (90 meV). The relaxation times follow Arrhenius behavior for T > 25 K. ForT < 10 K, however, the relaxation times of tau approximate to 10(10) s are only weakly temperature-dependent, indicating the relevance of a quantum tunneling process instead of thermal excitations. The magnetic entropy amounts to more than 25 J mol(Fe)(-1)K(-1), which significantly exceeds R ln2, the value expected for the entropy of a ground-state doublet. Thermal expansion and magnetostriction indicate a weak magnetoelastic coupling in accordance with slow relaxation of the magnetization. The classification of Li-2(Li1-xFex)N as ferromagnet is stressed and contrasted with highly anisotropic and slowly relaxing paramagnetic behavior.

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