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Competition between magnetic interactions and structural instabilities leading to itinerant frustration in the triangular lattice antiferromagnet LiCrSe2

Published inCommunications materials, vol. 4, no. 1, 81
Publication date2023-10-07
First online date2023-10-07
Abstract

LiCrSe 2 constitutes a recent valuable addition to the ensemble of two-dimensional triangular lattice antiferromagnets. In this work, we present a comprehensive study of the low temperature nuclear and magnetic structure established in this material. Being subject to a strong magnetoelastic coupling, LiCrSe 2 was found to undergo a first order structural transition from a trigonal crystal system ( $$P\bar{3}m1$$ P 3 ¯ m 1 ) to a monoclinic one ( C 2/ m ) at T s = 30 K. Such restructuring of the lattice is accompanied by a magnetic transition at T N = 30 K. Refinement of the magnetic structure with neutron diffraction data and complementary muon spin rotation analysis reveal the presence of a complex incommensurate magnetic structure with a up-up-down-down arrangement of the chromium moments with ferromagnetic double chains coupled antiferromagnetically. The spin axial vector is also modulated both in direction and modulus, resulting in a spin density wave-like order with periodic suppression of the chromium moment along the chains. This behavior is believed to appear as a result of strong competition between direct exchange antiferromagnetic and superexchange ferromagnetic couplings established between both nearest neighbor and next nearest neighbor Cr 3+ ions. We finally conjecture that the resulting magnetic order is stabilized via subtle vacancy/charge order within the lithium layers, potentially causing a mix of two co-existing magnetic phases within the sample.

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Citation (ISO format)
NOCERINO, Elisabetta et al. Competition between magnetic interactions and structural instabilities leading to itinerant frustration in the triangular lattice antiferromagnet LiCrSe<sub>2</sub>. In: Communications materials, 2023, vol. 4, n° 1, p. 81. doi: 10.1038/s43246-023-00407-x
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ISSN of the journal2662-4443
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