Journal article

Anomalous spin waves and the commensurate-incommensurate magnetic phase transition in LiNiPO4

Detailed spin-wave spectra of magnetoelectric LiNiPO4 have been measured by neutron scattering at low temperatures in the commensurate (C) antiferromagnetic (AF) phase below T-N=20.8 K. An anomalous shallow minimum is observed at the modulation vector of the incommensurate (IC) AF phase appearing above T-N. A linear spin-wave model based on Heisenberg exchange couplings and single-ion anisotropies accounts for all the observed spin-wave dispersions and intensities. Along the b axis an unusually strong next-nearest-neighbor AF coupling competes with the dominant nearest-neighbor AF exchange interaction and causes the IC structure.

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