Exchange anisotropy, disorder, and frustration in diluted, predominantly ferromagnetic, Heisenberg spin systems

Chenggang Zhou, Malcolm P. Kennett, Xin Wan, Mona Berciu, R. N. Bhatt

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20 Scopus citations


Motivated by the recent suggestion of anisotropic effective exchange interactions between Mn spins in Ga1-xMnxAs (arising as a result of spin-orbit coupling), we study their effects in diluted Heisenberg spin systems. We perform Monte Carlo simulations on several phenomenological model spin Hamiltonians, and investigate the extent to which frustration induced by anisotropic exchanges can reduce the low-temperature magnetization in these models and the interplay of this effect with disorder in the exchange. In a model with low coordination number and purely ferromagnetic exchanges, we find that the low-temperature magnetization is gradually reduced as exchange anisotropy is turned on. As the connectivity of the model is increased, the effect of small-to-moderate anisotropy is suppressed, and the magnetization regains its maximum saturation value at low temperatures unless the distribution of exchanges is very wide. To obtain significant suppression of the low-temperature magnetization in a model with high connectivity, as is found for long-range interactions, we find it necessary to have both ferromagnetic and antiferromagnetic exchanges (e.g., as in the Ruderman-Kittel-Kasuya-Yosida interaction). This implies that disorder in the sign of the exchange interaction is much more effective in suppressing magnetization at low temperatures than exchange anisotropy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number144419
Pages (from-to)144419-1-144419-9
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number14
StatePublished - Apr 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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