Spin-lattice coupling in a ferrimagnetic spinel

Miyata-etal-2020-fig4.jpgIn antiferromagnets, the interplay of spin frustration and spin-lattice coupling has been extensively studied as the source of complex spin patterns and exotic magnetism. It is very interesting to study how ubiquitously the interplay leads to nontrivial phenomena. We demonstrated that, although neglected in the past, the spin-lattice coupling is essential to ferrimagnetic spinels as well. We performed ultrahigh-field magnetization measurements up to 110 T on a ferrimagnetic spinel, MnCr2S4, which was complemented by measurements of magnetostriction and sound velocities up to 60 T. Classical Monte Carlo calculations were performed to identify the complex high-field spin structures. Our minimal model incorporating spin-lattice coupling accounts for the experimental results and corroborates the complete phase diagram, including two new high-field phase transitions at 75 and 85 T. Magnetoelastic coupling induces striking effects: An extremely robust magnetization plateau is embedded between two unconventional spin-asymmetric phases. Ferrimagnetic spinels provide a new platform to study asymmetric and multiferroic phases stabilized by spin-lattice coupling.

  • A. Miyata, H. Suwa, T. Nomura, L. Prodan, V. Felea, Y. Skourski, J. Deisenhofer, H.-A. Krug von Nidda, O. Portugall, S. Zherlitsyn, V. Tsurkan, J. Wosnitza, and A. Loidl Spin-lattice coupling in a ferrimagnetic spinel: Exotic H-T phase diagram of MnCr2S4 up to 110 TPhys. Rev. B 101, 054432 (2020), preprint: arXiv:1911.12103