Orphan spins in the S=5/2 antiferromagnet CaFe2O4

C. Stock, E. E. Rodriguez, N. Lee, F. Demmel, P. Fouquet, M. Laver, Ch Niedermayer, Y. Su, K. Nemkovski, M A. Green, J. A. Rodriguez-Rivera, J. W. Kim, L. Zhang, S. -W. Cheong

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CaFe$_{2}$O$_{4}$ is an anisotropic $S={5\over 2}$ antiferromagnet with two competing $A$ ($\uparrow \uparrow \downarrow \downarrow$) and $B$ ($\uparrow \downarrow \uparrow \downarrow$) magnetic order parameters separated by static antiphase boundaries at low temperatures. Neutron diffraction and bulk susceptibility measurements, show that the spins near these boundaries are weakly correlated and a carry an uncompensated ferromagnetic moment that can be tuned with a magnetic field. Spectroscopic measurements find these spins are bound with excitation energies less than the bulk magnetic spin-waves and resemble the spectra from isolated spin-clusters. Localized bound orphaned spins separate the two competing magnetic order parameters in CaFe$_{2}$O$_{4}$.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2017


  • cond-mat.mtrl-sci
  • cond-mat.str-el


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