Low-energy planar magnetic defects in BaFe2As2: Nanotwins, twins, antiphase, and domain boundaries

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2013-11-01
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Khan, Suffian
Alam, Aftab
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Johnson, Duane
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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.

For more than 70 years, the Ames National Laboratory has successfully partnered with Iowa State University, and is unique among the 17 DOE laboratories in that it is physically located on the campus of a major research university. Many of the scientists and administrators at the Laboratory also hold faculty positions at the University and the Laboratory has access to both undergraduate and graduate student talent.

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In BaFe2As2, structural and magnetic planar defects begin to proliferate below the structural phase transition, affecting descriptions of magnetism and superconductivity. We study, using density-functional theory, the stability and magnetic properties of competing antiphase and domain boundaries, twins and isolated nanotwins (twin nuclei), and spin excitations proposed and/or observed. These nanoscale defects have a very low surface energy (22–210 m Jm−2), with twins favorable to the mesoscale. Defects exhibit smaller moments confined near their boundaries—making a uniform-moment picture inappropriate for long-range magnetic order in real samples. Nanotwins explain features in measured pair distribution functions so should be considered when analyzing scattering data. All these defects can be weakly mobile and/or can have fluctuations that lower assessed “ordered” moments from longer spatial and/or time averaging and should be considered directly.

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This article is from Phys. Rev. B 88, 184515 (2013), doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.88.184515. Posted with permission.

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Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2013
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