Short-range magnetic order, irreversibility and giant magnetoresistance near the triple points in the (x, T) magnetic phase diagram of ZrMn6Sn6-xGax
Institut Jean Lamour, CNRS (UMR 7198), Nancy Université, B.P. 70239, 54506 Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy Cedex, France
Corresponding author: email@example.com
Revised: 19 March 2010
Published online: 13 April 2010
We have studied pseudo-layered ZrMn6Sn6-xGax intermetallics (0.55 ≤ x ≤ 0.81) using magnetic, magnetoresistivity and powder neutron diffraction measurements. All the alloys studied have magnetic ordering temperatures in the 450-490 K temperature range. They present complex temperature-dependent partially disordered magnetic structures whose ferromagnetic component develops upon increasing the Ga content. ZrMn6Sn6-xGax alloys with x ≤ 0.69 are essentially collinear antiferromagnets at high-temperature and adopt antifan-like arrangements at low temperature. For x ≥ 0.75, the alloys order ferromagnetically and evolve to a fan-like structure upon cooling. The intermediate compositions (x = 0.71 and 0.73) present a canted fan-like order at high temperature and another kind of antifan-like arrangement at low temperature. The degree of short-range order tends to increase upon approaching the intermediate compositions. The (x, T) phase diagram contains two triple points (x ~ 0.70; T ~ 460 K and x ~ 0.74; T ~ 455 K), where the paramagnetic, an incommensurate and a commensurate phases meet, which possess some of the features of Lifshitz point. Irreversibilities manifest in the low-temperature magnetization curves at the antifan-fan or fan-ferromagnetic boundaries as well as inside the fan region. Giant magnetoresistance is observed, even above room temperature.
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag, 2010