Publication
Journal of Applied Physics
Paper

Two-dimensionally modulated magnetic structure of neodymium, commensurate-commensurate transitions in CeSb, and the devil's staircase

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Abstract

The magnetic structure of the rare-earth metal neodymium has remained a mystery for more than a decade. Recently, a magnetic structure which fits the experimental results has been reported [1]. Here it will be shown how the model was derived by combining neutron diffraction data with the results of Landau symmetry arguments and renormalization group theory. The spins form a fascinating two-dimensional pattern with hexagonal symmetry, the "triple q" structure. The magnetic order is accompanied by a lattice distortion with a similar symmetry. Also, the results of a numerical study of simple model of a one-dimensionally modulated system are reported [2]. The phase diagram includes multiple phase transitions between commensurate phases similar to those observed in CeSb. This model, and CeSb, are possible candidates for "the devil's staircase" behavior where the periodicity jumps between an infinity of commensurate values.

Date

25 Jul 2008

Publication

Journal of Applied Physics

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