Synthesis, Crystal Structure, and Magnetic Properties of the Highly Frustrated Orthorhombic Li4MgReO6
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In an effort to understand the structure-property relationship in magnetically frustrated systems, an orthorhombic analog of the S = 1/2 Re-based oxide Li4MgReO6 has been successfully synthesized and its physical properties were investigated. Li4MgReO6 had been previously synthesized in a monoclinic system in an ordered NaCl structure type. That system was shown to exhibit spin glass behavior below ∼12 K. The crystal structure of the latter phase was determined using powder X-ray diffraction data. A structural model was refined in the orthorhombic Fddd space group that resulted in cell dimensions of a = 5.84337 (7) Å, b = 8.33995 (9) Å, and c = 17.6237 (2) Å. The magnetic ions, Re6+ (S = 1/2), consist of various arrangements of interconnected triangles and trigonal prisms that offer potential for geometric magnetic frustration. Temperature dependent magnetic susceptibility reveals an AFM transition below ∼2 K along with a ZFC/FC divergence suggestive of spin freezing. The Curie-Weiss fitting parameters to the paramagnetic regime result in θ = -124 (1) K, which is indicative of predominant AFM interactions. A frustration index of ∼62 is in accordance with a highly frustrated magnetic ground state. Zero field (ZF) μSR data provides evidence for the onset of magnetic order below 4 K, along with the evidence for dynamical fluctuations up to 5 K. Moreover, longitudinal field (LF) μSR data reveals a complete decoupling in applied field at 2 K, which is indicative of static order in most or all of the volume fraction at ∼2 K, with partial ordered volumes coexisting with dynamical fluctuations up to 5 K. Estimates of the relative strengths of various magnetic exchange pathways at the level of spin-dimer analysis for this novel system are calculated and are compared to those of the previously reported values for the monoclinic analog.
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