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Commensurate and incommensurate magnetic order in spin-1 chains stacked on the triangular lattice in Li2NiW2O8

Ranjith, K. M.; Nath, R.; Majumder, M.; Kasinathan, D.; Skoulatos, M.; Keller, L.; Skourski, Y.; Baenitz, M.; Tsirlin, A. A.


We report the thermodynamic properties, magnetic ground state, and microscopic magnetic model of the spin-1 frustrated antiferromagnet Li2NiW2O8, showing successive transitions at TN1 similar or equal to 18 K and TN2 similar or equal to 12.5 K in zero field. Nuclear magnetic resonance and neutron diffraction reveal collinear and commensurate magnetic order with the propagation vector k = (1/2,0,1/2) below TN2. The ordered moment of 1.8 µB at 1.5 K is directed along [0.89(9), - 0.10(5), - 0.49(6)] and matches the magnetic easy axis of spin-1 Ni2+ ions, which is determined by the scissor-like distortion of the NiO6 octahedra. Incommensurate magnetic order, presumably of spin-density-wave type, is observed in the region between TN2 and TN1. Density-functional band-structure calculations put forward a three-dimensional spin lattice with spin-1 chains running along the [01-1] direction and stacked on a spatially anisotropic triangular lattice in the ab plane. We show that the collinear magnetic order in Li2NiW2O8 is incompatible with the triangular lattice geometry and thus driven by a pronounced easy-axis single-ion anisotropy of Ni2+.

Involved research facilities

  • High Magnetic Field Laboratory (HLD)


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