Magnetic ground states in solids often arise as a result of a delicate balance between competing factors. One currently active area of research in magnetic materials involves compounds in which long-range magnetic ordering at low temperatures is frustrated by the geometry of the crystalline lattice, a situation known as geometrical magnetic frustration. The number of systems known to display the effects of such frustration is growing, but those that are sufficiently simple from theoretical, chemical, and physical perspectives to allow for detailed understanding remain very few. A search for model compounds in this family has led us to the double perovskites Ba2LnSbO6 and Sr2LnSbO6 (Ln = Dy, Ho, and Gd) reported here. Ba2DySbO6, Ba2HoSbO6, Sr2DySbO6, and Sr2HoSbO6 are structurally characterized by powder neutron diffraction at ambient temperature. The trivalent lanthanides and pentavalent antimony are found to be fully ordered in the double-perovskite arrangement of alternating octahedra sharing corner oxygens. In such a structure, the lanthanide sublattice displays a classical fcc arrangement, an edge-shared network of tetrahedra known to result in geometric magnetic frustration. No magnetic ordering is observed in any of these compounds down to temperatures of 2 K, and in the case of the Dy-based compounds in particular, frustration of the magnetic ordering is clearly present. Lanthanide-based double perovskites are proposed to be excellent model systems for the detailed study of geometric magnetic frustration.
|Number of pages
|Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
|Published - Jul 8 2003
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