Anomalous specific heat and magnetic properties of TmxDy1-xAl2 (0 ≤ x ≤ 1)

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2018-09-28
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Pathak, Arjun
Bonilla, C. M.
Paudyal, Durga
Mudryk, Yaroslav
Pecharsky, Vitalij
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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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Materials Science and Engineering

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering teaches the composition, microstructure, and processing of materials as well as their properties, uses, and performance. These fields of research utilize technologies in metals, ceramics, polymers, composites, and electronic materials.

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The Department of Materials Science and Engineering was formed in 1975 from the merger of the Department of Ceramics Engineering and the Department of Metallurgical Engineering.

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1975-present

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We study crystal structure, phase transitions and magnetism of pseudo-binary TmxDy1-xAl2 (0 ≤ x ≤ 1) compounds using temperature dependent X-ray powder diffraction, specific heat and magnetization measurements, first principles, and model calculations. In low external magnetic fields, Dy-rich compounds undergo continuous, second-order phase transitions at the respective Curie temperatures, TC. In contrast, the Tm-rich compounds exhibit discontinuous, first-order anomalies in the magnetically ordered states. These sharp transitions correlate with a substantial energy difference between the room temperature cubic and ground state rhombohedral structures of TmAl2. A clear anomaly in the lattice parameter is observed at ∼30 K for x = 0.5, which nearly coincides with TC = 31.2 K. The effective quadrupolar moment of the lanthanides changes sign around x = 0.5, which leads to a nearly zero anisotropy constant and approximately spherical effective 4f charge densities, providing an explanation for the lack of structural distortions below TC for x = 0.5. The calculations confirm [001] as the easy magnetization axis in the ground state tetragonal structure of DyAl2, and reveal collapse of the orbital magnetic moment when the easy magnetization direction changes to [111]. Within the rhombohedral ground state of TmAl2 [111] is the easy magnetization direction.

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