The interplay of microstructure and magnetism in La3Ni2SbO9

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La3Ni2SbO9 adopts a perovskite-related structure in which the six-coordinate cation sites are occupied alternately by Ni2+ and a disordered arrangement of Ni2+/Sb5+. A polycrystalline sample has been studied by neutron diffraction in applied magnetic fields of 0≤H/kOe≤50 at 5 K. In 0 kOe, weak magnetic Bragg scattering consistent with the adoption of a G-type ferrimagnetic structure is observed; the ordered component of the magnetic moment was found to be 0.89(7) µB per Ni2+ cation. This increased to 1.60(3) µB in a field of 50 kOe. Transmission electron microscopy revealed variations in the Ni:Sb ratio across crystallites of the sample. It is proposed that these composition variations disrupt the magnetic superexchange interactions within the compound, leading to domain formation and a reduced average moment. The application of a magnetic field aligns the magnetisation vectors across the crystal and the average moment measured by neutron diffraction increases accordingly. The role played by variations in the local chemical composition in determining the magnetic properties invites comparison with the behaviour of relaxor ferroelectrics. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.
Perovskite, Polycrystals, Microstructure, Magnetism, Ferroelectric materials, Cations
Battle, P. D., Avdeev, M., & Hadermann, J. (2014). The interplay of microstructure and magnetism in La3Ni2SbO9. Journal of Solid State Chemistry, 220, 163-166. doi:10.1016/j.jssc.2014.08.024