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Planar triangular S = 3/2 magnet AgCrSe2: Magnetic frustration, short range correlations, and field-tuned anisotropic cycloidal magnetic order

Baenitz, M.; Piva, M. M.; Luther, S.; Sichelschmidt, J.; Ranjith, K. M.; Dawczak-Debicki, H.; Ajeesh, M. O.; Kim, S.-J.; Siemann, G.; Bigi, C.; Manuel, P.; Khalyavin, D.; Sokolov, D. A.; Mokhtari, P.; Zhang, H.; Yasuoka, H.; King, P. D. C.; Vinai, G.; Polewczyk, V.; Torelli, P.; Wosnitza, J.; Bukhardt, U.; Schmidt, B.; Rosner, H.; Wirth, S.; Kühne, H.; Nicklas, M.; Schmidt, M.

Single crystals of the hexagonal triangular lattice compound AgCrSe2 have been grown by chemical vapor transport. The crystals have been carefully characterized and studied by magnetic susceptibility, magnetization, specific heat, and thermal expansion. In addition, we used Cr-electron spin resonance and neutron diffraction to probe the Cr 3d3 magnetism microscopically. To obtain the electronic density of states, we employed x-ray absorption and resonant photoemission spectroscopy in combination with density functional theory calculations. Our studies evidence an anisotropic magnetic order below TN = 32 K. Susceptibility data in small fields of about 1 T reveal an antiferromagnetic (AFM) type of order for H ⊥ c, whereas for H II c the data are reminiscent of a field-induced ferromagnetic (FM) structure. At low temperatures and for H ⊥ c, the field-dependent magnetization and AC susceptibility data evidence a metamagnetic transition at H+ = 5 T, which is absent for H II c. We assign this to a transition from a planar cycloidal spin structure at low fields to a planar fanlike arrangement above H+. A fully ferromagnetically polarized state is obtained above the saturation field of H⊥S = 23.7 T at 2K with a magnetization of Ms = 2.8 μB/Cr. For H II c, M(H) monotonically increases and saturates at the same Ms value at HIIS = 25.1 T at 4.2 K. Above TN , the magnetic susceptibility and specific heat indicate signatures of two dimensional (2D) frustration related to the presence of planar ferromagnetic and antiferromagnetic exchange interactions. We found a pronounced nearly isotropic maximum in both properties at about T = 45 K, which is a clear fingerprint of short range correlations and emergent spin fluctuations. Calculations based on a planar 2D Heisenberg model support our experimental findings and suggest a predominant FM exchange among nearest and AFM exchange among third-nearest neighbors. Only a minor contribution might be assigned to the antisymmetric Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction possibly related to the noncentrosymmetric polar space group R3m. Due to these competing interactions, the magnetism in AgCrSe2, in contrast to the oxygen-based delafossites, can be tuned by relatively small, experimentally accessible magnetic fields, allowing us to establish the complete anisotropic magnetic H-T phase diagram in detail.

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Publ.-Id: 33242