Structural disorder versus chiral magnetism in

The crystal structure of a disordered form of Cr<inf>1/3</inf>NbS<inf>2</inf> has been characterized using diffraction and inelastic scattering of synchrotron radiation. In contrast to the previously reported symmetry (P6<inf>3</inf>22), the crystal can be described by a regular twinning of an average P6<inf>3</inf> structure with three disordered positions of the Cr ions. Short-range correlations of the occupational disorder result in a quite intense and structured diffuse scattering; a static nature of the disorder was unambiguously attributed by the inelastic x-ray scattering. The diffuse scattering has been modeled using a reverse Monte-Carlo algorithm assuming a disorder of the Cr sublattice only. The observed correlated disorder of the Cr sublattice reduces the temperature of the magnetic ordering from 130 to 88 K and drastically modifies the field dependence of the magnetization as it is evidenced by the SQUID magnetometery. We conclude that, in contrast to the magnetic properties assumed for a helicoidal spin structure, the compound under study (which has the same chemical composition and an average structure very close to previous reports) shows the response of a ferromagnetically ordered anisotropic material. ©2015 American Physical Society.

Published in:
Physical Review B, 91, 18

 Record created 2015-12-15, last modified 2018-12-03

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